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  • Satellite Evolution Group

Tactical earth observation gets smarter

Tactical earth observation gets smarter

A new partnership between Danish satellite engineering company Space Inventor and communication specialists Addvalue will see IDRS™ deployed for the AI-powered Bifrost In-Orbit Demonstrator mission, due to launch in 2025.

Supported by a Danish/Swedish consortium, Bifrost is a single-satellite, technology demonstration project commissioned by the Danish Ministry of Defense. Its objective is to explore space-based surveillance of the Arctic region around greater Denmark (including the Faroe Islands and Greenland) by leveraging multispectral optical imaging, radio signals and AI over edge processing. This will detect ships and deliver near real-time early warning for defense and coastguard authorities. Bifrost’s micro-sat class satellite will operate in a sun synchronous polar orbit at 525-575 km with an expected life expectancy of five years.

The game-changing IDRS™ solution makes all this possible using the world’s only ‘always-on’, on-demand, real-time connection for any LEO satellite. This enables access to 24/7 data connection and transfer services with LEO satellites across all orbital inclinations up to altitudes of 1000 km and removes the need for restrictive earth station scheduling for managing or tasking any LEO satellite constellation. This is achieved through connecting to the Viasat global L-band constellation of GEO satellites and its broadband global area network (BGAN) ground infrastructure to deliver reliable, secure coverage and connectivity in near real time.

Other Bifrost consortium companies include Danish defense company TERMA, AI specialist and university spin-off Unibap, leading international research institute DTU Space and the space communications software experts at Gatehouse Satcom. Several other organizations and scientific bodies have expressed interest in collaboration.

On-board technology includes the Addvalue-IDRS i100 transceiver and antenna, MSI multispectral imager, EMS RF receiver, and Unibap iX5-100 Payload Processing Unit (PPU) with firmware and algorithms.

Space Inventor founder and Chief Executive Officer, Karl Kaas, said, “Bifrost is a project of great strategic importance for Space Inventor, and together with the advanced sensors and AI, IDRS will play an important role in securing essential real-time surveillance data in the vast maritime regions of Denmark.”

Tan Khai Pang, Chief Executive Officer of Addvalue, commented, “It’s a great honor to be working with Space Inventor. By drawing on our proven experience using Viasat technology to drive our real-time IDRS™ data relay solution, we can help Space Inventor make a success of the Bifrost project, strengthening Denmark’s maritime surveillance capabilities.”

“We’re proud to be the provider of the communications link supporting Addvalue IDRS and Space Inventor,” said Todd McDonell, Head of Viasat International Government. “Viasat’s global L-band network will provide reliable connectivity for secure data transport and continuous commanding and controlling of the Bifrost satellite in real time via the IDRS ‘Always On’ link.”


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