Clyde Space Secures its First Launch Contract
Clyde Space has secured its first launch contract, a follow-on order from an initial 6U satellite purchase from Israeli company NSLComm. Under the contract, Clyde Space is delivering an end-to-end mission service package, from spacecraft design, manufacture and launch to on-orbit operations.
The 6U spacecraft, NSLSat1, will demonstrate a new high-performance antenna that provides Ka-band communications from space. According to Clyde Space, the antenna could enable internet access to global satellite operators at a lower cost. The solution turns satellites such as CubeSats and smallsats into transponders that relay signals from Low Earth Orbit (LEO), providing worldwide coverage through a constellation of 60 to 100 spacecraft. The technology could enable a broader coverage area with a signal between 10 to 100 times stronger than a traditional transponder, Clyde Space stated.
The antenna, which deploys once in space, is able to compensate for any imperfections, electromechanically adjusting itself when encountering insufficiencies and changing the ground patterns accordingly, the company stated.
Clyde Space confirmed the launch for the end of 2018, and stated it hopes the successful mission will lead to larger constellation orders.