In partnership with the European Space Agency, Airbus and Thuraya, the Lausanne-based startup Astrocast is developing an advanced nanosatellite network that will provide a highly secure connection to any IoT device on Earth, in just a few minutes.
Together with Airbus, Astrocast has developed a low-cost chip and module that provides the most power-efficient satellite modem for IoT applications. The constellation will consist of 64 CubeSat satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), and will provide low latency global coverage.
Astrocast was founded in 2014 by the developers of SwissCube, one of the longest lasting, operational nanosatellites in space, and has just raised €8.3 million in a Series A round from new and existing investors. Additionally, Astrocast has received a loan of €460k from the Foundation for Technological Innovation.
“It has been an amazing year for Astrocast. With the launch of two satellites and a growing number of pilot customers, the company has demonstrated its ability to bring IoT access to the world,” said José Achache, Astrocast Chairman of the Board.
Astrocast is the only IoT company partner with aerospace industry leaders Thuraya, the European Space Agency (ESA) and Airbus. The launch of its second test satellite in April of this year makes Astrocast the first to prove its ability to launch, propel, accurately determine the position and communicate with their LEO nanosatellites in less than two hours after launch.
The company is also the first to have commercial access to the L-band frequency, enabling energy efficient and reliable two-way IoT communications anywhere. Both satellites have completed a full system test and are functioning at full capacity. Astrocast is now engaging commercial discussions with partners. Its first three pilot customers, Actia, Marine Instruments, and Swiss Fresh Water have begun on-the-ground testing.
“We are excited to see the continued confidence of our investors and partners in the new space race and our company as we make our mission of building the world’s first IoT network for the planet a reality,” said Fabien Jordan, CEO of Astrocast. “As we move toward our commercial launch in Q1 of 2020, we are further confirming our leadership as a fully integrated nanosatellite operator and our unique ability to deliver efficient IoT satellite coverage globally. Next steps with investors will be to secure an accelerated deployment of our global fleet of satellites.”