Latest News

Addvalue, Inmarsat Jointly Launch Inter-satellite Data Relay Service

By Kendall Russell | August 11, 2017
      Graphic of IDRS service. Photo: Addvalue.

      Graphic of IDRS service. Photo: Addvalue.

      As a follow-through of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) announced in February, Addvalue Technologies has formalized an agreement with Inmarsat to jointly offer a commercial on-demand communications service specifically designed to address the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite market. According to the companies, the service, termed Inter-Satellite Data Relay Service (IDRS), will enhance and improve the operational efficiency of LEO satellite operations globally and could be of particular interest to operators of scientific, weather forecasting, Earth observation and imaging missions.

      Up until now, communications with LEO satellites has only been available when the satellite is within line-of-sight of an Earth station. This limited connectivity is available to a rigid time schedule based on the particular LEO satellite’s orbit and the geographic location of the Earth station. With IDRS, LEO satellite operators will be able to have on-demand 24/7, near real-time, two-way IP-based communications links to all of their satellites. According to the two companies, IDRS will allow LEO constellation operators to rapidly respond to customer requirements and to operational anomalies in their fleet.

      IDRS will be based on Addvalue’s space-tested IDRS terminal and Inmarsat’s established Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) I-4 satellite-based Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) network. The two companies will work together to take the IDRS service to market, with Addvalue providing the IDRS flight hardware to be carried on board the LEO satellites and serving as the distributor of IDRS airtime to LEO satellite operators