A Glasgow space firm is to build and launch six satellites to form a ‘dedicated’ internet of things (IoT) constellation.
Spire, the space-based data, analytics and space services company, has been awarded the specialist contract by Lacuna Space, a leading satellite IoT connectivity provider.
Lacuna focuses on IoT services for agriculture, maritime, logistics, remote infrastructure and environmental monitoring. Its applications include measuring soil moisture for farmers in remote regions to improve crop yield or tracking the movement of assets.
Under the terms of the deal, Spire will manufacture the satellites at its Glasgow facility, which will be added to 10 pre-existing Lacuna satellites already in orbit. The constellation will enable the company to scale its IoT network for low-cost, reliable global connections to sensors and mobile equipment.
“Satellites play a critical role in providing IoT connectivity across the globe, particularly to remote, underserved, and developing areas of the world. These services are transformational in enabling new applications across a wide variety of industries and solving some of the biggest challenges facing humanity today,” said Frank Frulio, the general manager of Space Services at Spire.
“With Spire Space Services, we have streamlined the process to architect, build, launch and operate satellites reliably, and at a much lower cost than it would typically require new space companies to build infrastructure in space, allowing revolutionary technologies, like Lacuna’s IoT network, to reach the market faster.”
Rob Spurrett, CEO and co-founder of Lacuna Space., said: “This contract is a very important step in Lacuna’s progression into commercial operations, and represents over five years of intensive development work to refine the concept and achieve the scalability and reliability required to provide a global commercial service.”
Craig Brown, investment director at the UK Space Agency, said: “Glasgow produces more satellites than anywhere else in Europe, and this contract between Spire Global and Lacuna Space is a fantastic example of how the UK’s strong heritage in space manufacturing is accelerating our progress towards global connectivity and new commercial applications for telecommunications.
“This collaboration will unlock opportunities for businesses, using satellites to transfer data and information between millions of sensors on the ground that make up IoT, with the potential to scale up further. I’m looking forward to watching the constellation come to life.”