KSAT expanding the Smallsat network adding 34 antennas in 2021

The increasing pace of the commercial satellite industry is continuing. As a response to this, KSAT is adding 34 new antennas dedicated for the KSATlite network just this year.

KSAT is deploying 34 antennas this year, dedicated to increase the capacity on KSATlite, our network optimised for supporting Smallsats constellations. The antennas will be installed across the globe, adding capacity in already existing sites as well as expanding the coverage to new sites. The roll-out of the first batch of antennas is already well on its way, the second one beginning in June.

Reflects the current pace

This significant investment comes as a direct response to the growing demand for services on the KSATlite network. Last year the number of passes doubled on the lite network in only six months, from 10 000 to 20 000 passes per month. By June the network will be probably be handling 30 000 passes per month having exceeded 1000 passes daily.

– Our network loading forecasts shows no signs of this growth curve flattening. On the contrary, looking at the number of new satellites in the pipeline and the launch frequency this is a continuing trend, Amund Nylund, KSAT Chief Operations Officer (COO) says, and continues: 

–  We believe this reflects the current pace of the commercial space industry, as well as it speaks to the success of the KSATlite product in this fast-growing market.

Amund NylundStort.jpg
Amund Nylund is KSATs new Chief Operations Officer (COO). 

The strong growth is caused by several factors. Both existing and new customers are expanding their constellations, adding more satellites to their missions, as well as they require increased number of contacts on the network. An important factor is the operational flexibility. Allowing the ground to define a standard interface gives the satellite owners flexibility and a network-oriented approach can be taken to data reception and satellite control.

Effort from a dedicated KSAT team

Although adding 34 antennas requires a significant effort from the whole organisation, deployment of the antennas across the network is “relatively" easy. The KSATlite strategy and product concept is all about standardised set-ups and scalable ground station architecture, that together with flexible API driven interfaces are making this possible.

–  Looking back 10 years, building and integrating four antennas at our new Mid latitude sites in one year was a major achievement. Now we are deploying and integrating 34 antennas almost like it's just another day at the office. It shows that the way we are operating now is streamlined and developing an software based architecture, makes it a lot easier. However, it would not be possible without the effort from our the dedicated KSAT Team, KSAT CEO and President Rolf Skatteboe says.

The 34 antennas will augment KSATs already fully operational Ka-band network consisting of 6 polar antenna systems (4 Tri-band and 2 Dual-band) and comes in addition to already ongoing expansions and investments on the KSAT ground network this year.