- Satellite Evolution
Kepler Communications announces testing of ÆTHER™ network with Spire Global, Inc.
Kepler Communications has announced the signing of a contract with Spire Global, Inc., a leading global provider of space-based data, analytics, and space services, to launch a test of Kepler’s ÆTHER network. This will serve as an initial test bed for Kepler’s ÆTHER service and will also help Spire evaluate how the technology can support its goal to collect accurate, timely and global data.
Announced at Satellite 2021, ÆTHER is the fulfilment of Kepler’s mission to enable the space economy by delivering the infrastructure for always-on, real-time connectivity to space-based assets. With ÆTHER, Kepler will solve one of the key challenges facing low earth orbit missions, which is limited connectivity with Earth, by relaying data through the ÆTHER network.
Without an always-on, real-time communications link, operators must wait until the satellite is above a ground station to learn about the health of the asset, confirm satellite location, or identify anomalous behaviour. In addition, the value of the data collected by satellites diminishes with time until it eventually reaches Earth. By providing an always on, real-time link to satellites, Kepler’s ÆTHER service delivers an important new service to the space community, while opening a new market for Kepler’s satellite technology.
Spire will host Kepler's ÆTHER product aboard an upcoming Spire nanosatellite. The communications system has a small form factor and is easily integrated. This is driven by Kepler's unique patented LEO architecture.
“At Spire we are always on the lookout for products and technologies that enhance our ability to deliver highly impactful data to our customers in a timely manner,” said Jeroen Cappaert, Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder of Spire.
“This initiative with Spire is an early validation of the value and importance of the ÆTHER program for Kepler. Spire is a recognized pioneer in the market and understands the advantage of improving communications with their space assets. We look forward to demonstrating our capabilities with them and many other customers soon to be announced as we deliver on our mission of connecting the space economy," said Mina Mitry, Kepler’s CEO & Co-Founder.
The initial test aboard a Spire satellite is due to launch in Q4 2022. Ahead of this initial launch, Kepler Communications will be conducting on-orbit testing of the ÆTHER hardware in the first quarter of 2022, onboard two new Kepler satellites.