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Spire Global awarded Space Services contract by Lacuna Space

Posted 6 December 2023

Spire Global has been awarded a Space Services contract by Lacuna Space, which will see Spire initially build and launch six satellites carrying Lacuna Space’s payload and antenna, with the opportunity to scale the constellation to dozens of satellites.



Image courtesy Spire

Lacuna Space will operate its payloads and receive encrypted data at its Harwell headquarters.

With six satellites manufactured by Spire at its facility in Glasgow, UK, in addition to Lacuna Space’s 10 earlier satellites, Lacuna Space will be able to scale its IoT network for low-cost, reliable global connections to sensors and mobile equipment. Lacuna focuses on IoT services for agriculture, maritime, logistics, remote infrastructure and environmental monitoring, with applications such as measuring soil moisture for farmers in remote regions to improve crop yield or tracking the movement of assets.

These satellites feature Lacuna’s new proprietary, ultra-high density ‘Gentoo’ satellite gateway. The satellite gateways work in conjunction with Lacuna’s ground scheduling network, which enables adaptive, regional, fine-frequency algorithms developed using AI from years of satellite-based spectrum scans.

“Satellites play a critical role in providing IoT connectivity across the globe, particularly to remote, underserved and developing areas of the world. These services are transformational in enabling new applications across a wide variety of industries and solving some of the biggest challenges facing humanity today,” said Frank Frulio, the general manager of Space Services at Spire. “With Spire Space Services, we have streamlined the process to architect, build, launch and operate satellites reliably and at a much lower cost than it would typically require new space companies to build infrastructure in space, allowing revolutionary technologies, like Lacuna’s IoT network, to reach the market faster.”

Rob Spurrett, CEO and co-founder of Lacuna Space, said: “This contract is a very important step in Lacuna’s progression into commercial operations and represents over five years of intensive development work to refine the concept and achieve the scalability and reliability required to provide a global commercial service.”

Craig Brown, investment director at the UK Space Agency, said: “Glasgow produces more satellites than anywhere else in Europe and this contract between Spire Global and Lacuna Space is a fantastic example of how the UK’s strong heritage in space manufacturing is accelerating our progress towards global connectivity and new commercial applications for telecommunications.

“This collaboration will unlock opportunities for businesses, using satellites to transfer data and information between millions of sensors on the ground that make up IoT, with the potential to scale up further. I’m looking forward to watching the constellation come to life.”



Spire Space Services offers fast and scalable access to space through a subscription model that eliminates the high upfront cost of building and maintaining infrastructure in space. The Company has designed, built and launched more than 165 satellites, enabling commercial and government organisations to easily deploy and operate a constellation, hosted payload, or a software application in space leveraging Spire’s established space, ground and web infrastructure. Spire handles the end-to-end management, from manufacturing to launch to satellite operations and the customer operates the system through a web API.
 

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