The GHOSt hyperspectral constellation, developed by Orbital Sidekick, is also being constructed by Santa Clara, California-based Astro Digital.
On Thursday, EchoStar Corporation unveiled plans for a worldwide S-band constellation to offer IoT services, inking a contract with Astro Digital to produce the satellites. 28 tiny satellites were ordered by EchoStar to launch in 2024. The agreement’s terms weren’t made public.
The satellites will have a cutting-edge software-defined radio with onboard processing and storage for two-way device connectivity, and they will employ the LoRa protocol to link extremely low-cost, long-lasting devices. According to 3GPP release 17 specs, EchoStar claimed it intends to develop 5G New Radio (NR)-based non-terrestrial network capabilities.
Through its European affiliate, EchoStar Mobile Limited, the company now runs a mobile satellite services network in Europe using the geostationary EchoStar XXI satellite.
“This agreement represents another step forward towards our goal of a global non-terrestrial 5G network,” said Hamid Akhavan, CEO of EchoStar. “With our engineering ingenuity, our service delivery expertise and our spectrum rights, EchoStar is uniquely positioned to offer worldwide S-band satellite services to help meet the insatiable demand for complete and constant connectivity.”
“These new capabilities will fill a gap in the connected ecosystem, greatly expanding worldwide IoT interoperability,” said Josh Williams, managing director of EchoStar Global Australia. “Our team, together with Astro Digital, has already begun integration of our Australian-based operations to bring to market a truly global solution with consistent and reliable network performance.”