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Kepler Signs Spire as a Customer for Ku-band Data Service

By Rachel Jewett | May 10, 2022

Kepler Communications signs Spire Global as a customer for its high-capacity Ku-band data transmission service. Photo: Kepler

Kepler Communications signed Spire Global as a customer for its high-capacity Ku-band data transmission service, the companies announced Tuesday. 

Under the contract, Spire will install Kepler’s physical Ku-band payloads to three initial satellites.  Kepler said its Ku-band terminals will allow Spire satellites to send large amounts of data back down to Earth, using Kepler’s regulatory licenses. The first Spire satellites with Kepler’s Ku-band service will launch in early 2023, and the contract includes the option to scale up to 50 satellites. 

Kepler’s software-defined radio payload has flown on 19 satellites and delivered an information rate of more than 300 Mbps from Low-Earth Orbit on a 3.4 meter dish, and 240 Mbps on a Kymeta flat panel antenna. Kepler is developing an upgraded path to support 2.5 Gbps. 

“We are excited to offer a high-data rate solution, giving our customers the ability to deliver significantly larger quantities of data from their on-orbit assets,” said Diane Burchett, vice president of engineering for Kepler. “Spire Global is well positioned to be the lead client of the service, and we see a great deal of synergy between our offerings and the value Spire is creating for their customers.”

Spire said this service will allow it to downlink larger bulk data for Space Services customers that have more demanding data requirements. 

“Kepler is building a novel solution for ramping up data speed with their technology,” said Joel Spark, vice president of Space Services for Spire. “This collaboration is a step forward in building the internet in space. We look forward to leveraging the Kepler network to accelerate the data download capacity and bring the most technologically enhanced capabilities to our space services customers.”

This contract follows after Spire agreed to host a Kepler Communications test of its in-space communication network on a Spire satellite in late 2021.