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Inmarsat Orders 3 Small GEO Satellites from Swissto12 for its L-band Network 

By Rachel Jewett | May 19, 2023

      Illustration of Swissto12 HummingSat satellite in geostationary orbit for Inmarsat-8. Photo: Swissto12

      Inmarsat has ordered three small Geostationary Orbit (GEO) satellites from Swissto12 for the eighth-generation of its L-band network.

      The three I-8 satellites will be based on Swissto12’s HummingSat satellite platform that is about five times smaller than a conventional GEO satellite at just 1.5 cubic meters in volume. It includes the company’s proprietary technique that 3D prints radio frequency payload technology. Swissto12 is seeing increased takeup on this platform, and signed a deal with Intelsat last year to build Intelsat-45. 

      The satellites are set to launch by 2026 and will provide resilience to complement the existing constellation and Inmarsat’s two I-6 generation satellites, launched in December 2021 and February 2023. The satellites will enable Inmarsat’s satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS) services which are used for precise tracking for aircraft, emergency situations, and agriculture. 

      Emile de Rijk, CEO of Swissto12, said this deal shows that the company has “created a highly-advanced new class of small Geostationary spacecraft that delivers world-leading connectivity capabilities at a fraction of the cost. Our proprietary 3D-printing of radio frequency payload technology allows us to push the limits of existing capability and service new and existing business cases for geostationary satellite communications.”