ESA Signs On as Customer for Kepler Aether Service
The European Space Agency (ESA) has awarded Kepler Communications a 500,000 euro ($581,000) contract to test satellite hardware terminals. Kepler Communications is working to build an in-space data transfer network called Aether.
This ESA award is part of a project exploring satellite telemetry and control using space Internet of Things (IoT) networks for small satellites. Under the contract, Kepler will deliver hardware terminals to ESA and other third parties participating in the program, and these terminals will be installed on satellites. The Kepler network will provide connectivity to these assets in nearby orbits, to provide connectivity when the satellites are not in contact with ground stations.
Kepler said it will conduct on-orbit testing of the proposed hardware terminals in the first quarter of 2022, on two new satellites that will be added to the constellation at a future launch.
Wen Cheng Chong, Kepler’s CTO co-founder commented: “The contract with ESA to deliver the hardware and service is an important validation for the team at Kepler and highlights the value of our central mission to deliver internet-style connectivity to space.”