Sovereign company delivering space data as a service Quasar Satellite is developing a cryogenically cooled communication solutions that enables ground stations—which are typically only capable of tracking one satellite at a time—to communicate with multiple satellites simultaneously without a mechanical steering system.
Quasar says the phased array technology, which will provide ground stations with multibeam capability, will also allow access to data from satellites in low, medium, and geostationary orbit.
Ground station end users can submit requests using Quasar’s satellite tracking and pass booking software suite. The system will then schedule and initiate satellite contact and a data downlink.
Quasar satellite head of product Rashmi Karanth said the solution is secure by design and supports open standards to ensure that it is fit for purpose.
“Quasar is disrupting satellite communications from the ground. How we are doing that is by making space communication more affordable, accessible, and safer.”
Building the backbone in the cloud
Quasar raised $12 million in seed funding when it launched is backed by industry partners Clearbox Systems, Fleet Space Technologies, Saber Astronautics, and Vocus.
Karanth said the startup will release its first commercial product, the S-band phased array antenna, in mid-2023.
“We are going to have three ground stations in Australia, with the first one to be commissioned in New South Wales,” Karanth said.
“Then we have an ambitious three-year timeline for the X-band phased array antenna, so we’re looking to launch that product in 2025.”
Quasar joined the Microsoft for Space Startups Australia program soon after launching in 2021.
The company is building its entire architecture on Microsoft Azure, and it leveraged the FastTrack for Azure engineering advisory service to accelerate this process.
According to the Center for Space Standards and Innovation, more than 57,000 new satellites are expected to be launched globally by 2030.
“There are a lot of use cases, such as pre-processing the data on the satellite and then downlinking it using Quasar’s ground station infrastructure,” she explained.
“Another use case that I see is for space domain awareness, which is essentially scanning the sky. There’s a lot of impetus on SDA from a defense perspective as well, so we are looking to work very closely with defense organizations on this capability in the future.”
This first appeared in the subscription newsletter CommsWire on 8 August 2022.
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