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Spire unveils Satellite Mission Operations Platform

Provider of space-based data, analytics and space services, Spire Global, unveiled its Constellation Management Platform at Space Tech Expo Europe yesterday, its web-based app that simplifies satellite constellation operations through its user-friendly interface.



Above: Representation of Spire Constellation Management Platform showing satellite booking window and availability of payload, sunlit period and data downlink/uplink windows for each satellite.
Courtesy Spire Global

The development of the platform is co-funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) under ARTES Core Competitiveness (CC) Programme with a €1.5 million award to Spire, along with support from the Luxembourg Space Agency (LSA).

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Spire’s Constellation Management Platform is the latest innovation by Spire Space Services, the Company’s end-to-end solution for customers to build, launch and operate their own satellite constellation for a flat monthly fee. Spire provides standardised Space as a Service missions that support a range of use cases across Earth observation, connectivity, radio frequency intelligence and space domain awareness — making it easier and faster for customers to get their satellites in orbit and scale a constellation.

Satellite constellation operations have traditionally been complex and resource intensive, requiring a room full of people to operate satellites at all times of the day. Spire is leveraging its more than a decade of experience operating the world’s largest multi-payload satellite constellation to automate and optimise satellite operations, allowing any company to operate their satellites with one person and a laptop.   

The platform allows users to connect directly with their satellites to task, schedule and monitor every aspect of their payload, data, fleet health and mission planning through a user-friendly interface. It simplifies access to Spire’s ground operations software to operate a satellite or constellation with multiple, global ground station networks for tracking, scheduling, commanding, downlinking data and monitoring telemetry. It was built using Amazon Web Services and will deliver satellite data directly into a customer’s ecosystem. It is also accessible through a Spire API.

“Satellites never sleep. You build and launch a satellite once but then you have to operate it and communicate with it thousands of times over its lifetime,” said Frank Frulio, general manager of Space Services, Spire. “Typically, you need an army of experts to do that, but we’ve simplified space so that anyone can easily manage satellites and gain insights from space to give their business a competitive edge — such as helping insurance companies build products that safeguard against climate change variables and providing utilities companies with accurate, real-time data for remote forestry management.”

Spire’s Constellation Management Platform is available to customers that build, launch and operate satellites with Space Services, as well as for those looking to simplify and optimise operations of an existing constellation.

“The path leading up to launch, although exciting, is one step of a larger journey,” said Dr Gernot Groemer, Director at the Austrian Space Forum. “Collaborating with Spire has transformed ADLER-2 operations into a seamless experience. The user-friendly API web application developed by Spire not only saves us time but also enables us to redirect our focus from calculating schedule windows to analysing the measurements gathered by our payloads. The automation of satellite operations has made it a hands-off, effortlessly managed process for us that has been a game changer for our research initiatives.”

Dietmar Schmitt, acting Head of Systems, Strategic Programme Lines and Technology Department for the ESA Connectivity and Secure Communications Directorate said: “The Constellation Management Platform, which is developed by Spire under the ESA ARTES CC programme, will offer a simplified approach to constellation mission operations by providing customers with an automated end-to-end satellite operations system. It will be managed through a web application, allowing for a more efficient planning and use of the resources and space assets.”

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