“The commercial potential for a cost effective worldwide telecoms satellite system is huge”
Israeli-founded aerospace engineering firm hiSky has established a UK base with the creation of hiSkySat Limited which will be based in London.
With £9 million in funding from the UK Space Agency hiSkySat will develop cutting-edge space telecoms technology at the Harwell Space Cluster in Oxfordshire. There they will develop a communications network management system (NMS) and operation centre.
hiSkySat wants to become a low-cost satellite networker operator in the UK, with a particular focus on voice and data satellites. A new project it will work on is the integration of 5G networks into a satellite communication terminal.
They believe that this will start the ‘next generation of Internet of Things’ technology as it will enable the connection of machines and vehicles across the world. The technology will also be used to monitor energy infrastructure such as powerlines and wind turbines.
Shahar Kravitz CEO of hiSky commented in a release that: “hiSky’s cutting edge technology and solution was developed in order to meet with the consumers needs and can easily adjust to different satellite operators, including forthcoming Low Earth Orbit telcoms constellations.”
“The UK Space Agency and Department for International Trade have been very supportive of our technology and our concept from the beginning. We are grateful for the chance given to us and look forward to grow within the UK.”
UK Space Agency
This is inline with a major funding push by the UK Space Agency which previously provided £18 million in funding to UK-based communications company OneWeb, which wants to establish a global satellite-based internet network by the year 2027 that brings connectivity to every part of the world.
London-based OneWeb is aiming to build a worldwide internet network using a constellation of 650 satellites operating in a low-earth orbit. Initially the project hopes to provide global connectivity at speeds of 500mb/s with a latency under 50ms.
The service could be instrumental for emergency services as it would provide instant connectivity in hard-to-reach locations. Through the use of a OneWeb mobile terminal, first responders will be able to avail of 200m wide LTE coverage circles when they are out of range of cellular towers.
Science Minister Chris Skidmore commented at the time on a visit to an ESA station in the Netherlands: “The commercial potential for a cost effective worldwide telecoms satellite system is huge, and the UK space sector is playing a leading role in delivering it. It is made possible by our ongoing commitment to the European Space Agency and our world-leading capabilities in space and telecommunications.”