Denver-based in-space transportation company Atomos Space has entered into a technology partnership with Addvalue Innovation, a communication terminals provider, to develop orbital transfer vehicles (OTVs) that relocate Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites and provide terrestrial logistics in orbit.
The collaboration will leverage Addvalue’s innovative Inter-satellite Data Relay System (IDRS) terminal operating over Inmarsat’s Elera GEO satellite network.
Atomos aims to deploy a fleet of orbital transfer vehicles that will serve the growing space economy by delivering satellite operator assets precisely to their needed slot in orbit. With its first mission due to launch in 2023, Atomos will begin servicing over $300m in Letters of Intent from commercial satellite operators. By equipping orbital transfer vehicles with IDRS ‘Always On’ command and control connectivity, Atomos will be able to safely perform its mission-critical precision rendezvous and proximity operations.
With Addvalue’s IDRS on board, the Atomos vehicle can access Inmarsat’s global reach and harness the constellation’s long-term commitment to specific frequencies to create a unique and continuous connectivity offering.
Addvalue’s state-of-art IDRS solution delivers the consistent, on-demand, 24/7 data connection services that the agile orbital transfer vehicle needs to dock with an orbiting spacecraft. This technology supports bi-directional data transfer at rates in excess of 200 Kbps in all orbital inclinations and at altitudes of up to 1,000 km.
Speaking about the deal, Scott Piggott, Atomos Space Chief Engineer, said: “Our ground-breaking orbital transfer vehicles need a cutting-edge communication solution to keep interactive information flowing during operations. We’re excited to be leveraging Addvalue’s expertise and solutions in this critical area.”
Tan Khai Pang, Chief Executive Officer of Addvalue, added: “We’re honoured to be working with Atomos Space to boost accuracy and reduce risk for its rendezvous and proximity capabilities. By drawing on our proven experience using Inmarsat technology to drive our real-time IDRS data relay solution, we can help Atomos Space orbital transfer vehicles get to just where they need to be, safely and reliably.”
Todd McDonell, President of Inmarsat Global Government, stated: ”Inmarsat is delighted to be the provider of the communications link between Atomos Space and its fleet of Orbiter Transfer Vehicles. Inmarsat’s Elera geostationary satellites and global ground network enable command and control of the orbital transfer vehicles in real-time via the Addvalue IDRS ‘Always On’ link. This ensures that Atomos Space can deliver a precise, time-critical and reliable service to its clients – the satellite constellation operators.”