Special report: Sky and Space Global has announced a breakthrough that could bring a new commercial application for a fleet of communications satellites it’s launching.

Sky and Space (ASX:SAS) is about to deploy a constellation of 200 nano-satellites into equatorial orbit to provide affordable narrowband communications to the region — including its most impoverished nations.

It’s an important venture because a third of the world’s population is still without 3G mobile data connectivity — including Africa, South East Asia and Latin America.

The satellite network is already planning services such as voice, messaging and Internet of Things applications.

Now a potential new commercial application has been added to the suite of services — satellite-based spectrum monitoring.

Spectrum monitoring is undertaken by governments and satellite operators to help plan and use radio frequencies, identify sources of harmful “radio frequency interference” (RFI), collect data and enforce compliance.

RFI heavily impacts the quality of service for satellite operators and their customers. It’s difficult to identify — which makes it a significant problem and a market opportunity for SAS.

SAS today announced it had successfully performed the world’s first spectrum monitoring of radio frequencies by nano-satellites.

The SAS 3 Diamonds satellite “successfully identified and detected the source of a connectivity interference for a leading geo-stationary satellite communications operator”, the company said.

That means SAS’s satellites could be used by global satellite companies and governments to protect satellite communication networks — and to locate and identify interference.

SAS is now planning to build into its upcoming Pearls satellites new capabilities to perform ongoing spectrum monitoring services, “expanding the market opportunity and providing additional revenue streams”.

SAS is also focused on finding new commercial applications for the Pearls constellation ahead of the launch in 2019.

“The pioneering technology onboard our nano-satellites enabled us to identify an interference on a global satellite network,” said Sky and Space Global MD and CEO Meir Moalem.

“This has demonstrated the capabilities of our nano-satellites to monitor radio frequencies across a substantial area and has opened up further commercial opportunities among global satellite companies and government agencies that rely on having access to quality and clear satellite communications.

“We will now look to incorporate this capbility into our Pearls constellation and are confident in commercialising the Pearls based on the successful technological and commercial demonstrations with our 3 Diamonds.”


This special report is brought to you by Sky and Space Global.

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