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BlackSky’s Next-Gen Satellites to Use Addvalue’s Data Relay System

By Rachel Jewett | February 16, 2023

      Graphic of IDRS service. Photo: Addvalue.

      BlackSky is incorporating the Inmarsat and Addvalue inter-satellite data relay system, IDRS, in its next-generation satellite design, the companies announced Thursday. 

      Addvalue has designed a new Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite antenna system that allows full communications coverage when satellites are not in view of a ground station. The IDRS terminal uses Inmarsat’s satellite network and gives LEO satellites always-on communications for mission tasking and data monitoring. The terminal also supports telemetry and command communications, troubleshooting and restoring operations.

      Inmarsat and Addvalue have been working together on the data relay service since 2017. SAR company Capella Space was the first customer, and Synspecitve is also a customer

      “Reliable, high-fidelity IDRS communications links ensure that our customers can focus on their mission,” said Addvalue CEO Tan Khai Pang. “With IDRS on board, BlackSky will have access to on-demand, near real-time, two-way IP-based links to all its in-space assets 24/7. This means more efficient and timely responses to customer requirements and any operational needs in its fleet.”