Launching a satellite network to connect existing satellites to Earth 24/7.
Silently circling thousands of miles above the earth, remote sensing satellites gather data that helps feed, organize, and protect millions. They provide crucial weather data, help optimize industrial-scale agriculture, track vital industrial assets, aid in disaster response, and more. But these satellites, for all that they empower, remain hamstrung by the unalterable geography of our planet.
Remote sensing satellites must offload the data they collect to ground stations which, in turn, shuttle it around the earth through terrestrial communication networks. But ground stations must be built on…ground — ground that must also be licensed to that satellite provider. Due to these geographical and geopolitical constraints, the typical offload window for a data-collecting satellite is only two or three hours per day. This abbreviated offload window creates a major data downlink bottleneck that limits the amount of data that can be put to good use solving global challenges.
Analytical Space (ASI), founded by Dan Nevius, is working to eliminate this downlink bottleneck with a unique orbital network of shoebox-size satellites that will route data from large, data-collecting satellites to the appropriate ground stations 24/7. ASI’s satellite network will not only maximize the amount of data throughput and decrease latency, it will be backwards compatible with most of the existing communication systems used on remote sensing satellites in space today.
In a previous life, Dan worked on the CERES constellation of remote sensing satellites at Planetary Resources. He became an expert on novel imaging technologies to produce actionable data sets in precision agriculture, climate monitoring, and city planning. These data sets literally help feed, organize, and protect our planet.
In July 2018, the ASI team successfully deployed its first test satellite, nicknamed Radix, from the International Space Station. As of late 2019, the team is awaiting final deployment schedule for its second test satellite. It also has a fully booked test campaign with a cohort of 12 partner satellites operated by a combination of government, research, and commercial entities. These next steps for ASI will be powered, in part, by a significant SBIR AFWERX contract from the U.S. Air Force, received in May 2019.