Scottish space software company Bright Ascension provided the software for a shoebox-sized communications satellite which was successfully launched last week by Canada’s Kepler Communications.
Kepler contracted Scottish manufacturer Clyde Space to provide two of its advanced CubeSats, measuring 10x30cm, as a pilot for their full satellite constellation.
The initiative will create new business opportunities for applications such as bulk data transfer and the Internet of Things. Data gathered by the constellation will have a range of applications from intelligent shipping to smart agriculture, and improving health and safety.
Bright Ascension provided the satellite software, which runs on board the spacecraft and is responsible for controlling the satellite and communicating with operators on the ground. The software was integrated into the satellite and tested at Clyde Space’s Glasgow facilities last December before the spacecraft was shipped for launch.
The company has also provided the mission control software which will be used by operators at Kepler to communicate with and control their spacecraft from the ground.
“We have been working with Bright Ascension for a number of years, starting the successful UKube-1 mission and have come to regard them as part of our core delivery team,” said Craig Clark, chief executive of Clyde Space.
“With the Kepler mission we have proven that it is possible to deliver cutting edge spacecraft technology to orbit on a very aggressive timescale and the team at Bright Ascension were integral to making this possible. I thank them for their continued excellent support to our missions.”
This is Bright Ascension’s second successful mission after the launch of UKube-1, the first satellite to be built in Scotland, in 2014. The company said this year promises to be an exciting year with a further eight launches planned using its software.
Bright Ascension was founded in 2011 to offer a fresh and innovative approach to space software. Its team has a wealth of experience, from both the space industry and other high-technology sectors “allowing our end users to get the maximum capability out of their software, satellites and subsystems”.
Picture: Kepler’s KIPP nanosatellite launched on 19 January 2018.