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Omnispace and Thales announce launch of first satellite mission

Omnispace Spark-1 is part of Omnispace's initiative to provide global hybrid NTN connectivity.
Earth image from NASA

Omnispace and Thales Alenia Space have announced that Omnispace Spark-1 was successfully delivered into orbit aboard the SpaceX Transporter-4.

The Omnispace Spark programme represents phase one in the development and delivery of the world’s first standards-based global hybrid network.

Thales Alenia Space designed and built the satellite, part of the initial two-satellite Omnispace Spark programme. The new-generation NGSO satellite in low-earth orbit (LEO) will operate in the 2 GHz S-band. Omnispace Spark will support the mobile industry 3GPP standard in-band n256, making connectivity possible direct to compatible devices. This programme will serve to advance the development and implementation of Omnispace’s global hybrid non-terrestrial (NTN) network.

Speaking about the launch, Ram Viswanathan, president and CEO of Omnispace LLC, said: “Omnispace is reinventing mobile communications by building a global hybrid network that will benefit users requiring true mobility, everywhere. We are pleased with the work that Thales Alenia Space, together with its world-class team of innovators, have done to design and build Omnispace Spark. With their help, we are making our vision of a single, ubiquitous, global hybrid network possible.”

Hervé Derrey, CEO of Thales Alenia Space, added: “I’m very excited about the successful launch of Spark-1, a nanosatellite we built in conjunction with NanoAvionics, Syrlinks & ANYWAVES. This achievement reflects our ability to develop new space solutions in partnership with innovative SMEs to address market needs. We are convinced that merging flight-proven expertise with agility is the key to successfully matching the evolving space demand.”

Spark-1 was delivered into orbit aboard a SpaceX Transporter. Exolaunch provided launch, mission management, integration and deployment services.

Led by prime contractor, Thales Alenia Space, the Omnispace Spark programme includes industry partners, NanoAvionics providing the satellites buses, launch support and in-orbit operations, ANYWAVES the payloads user antennas and Syrlinks the S-band instruments for the payloads.

Vytenis J. Buzas, founder and CEO of NanoAvionics, stated: “The successful launch of Omnispace Spark-1 also signifies a successful collaboration between the NewSpace and traditional space, resulting in our great technological exchange with Thales Alenia Space. It is fair to say that both companies had to adjust their processes and find a mutual middle ground. From working with a traditional satellite prime contractor, we gained valuable experience and were able to further improve our reliability assurance processes and our technical performance. On the other side, we hope that Thales Alenia Space was able to benefit from our modular technology and the agility levels we provide.”

Nicolas CAPET, CEO of ANYWAVES, commented: “After demonstrating our capacity to provide COTS antennas, we are today very proud to show our capability regarding payload ones. Supporting major space projects, such as Omnispace Spark, alongside with Thales Alenia Space, is also another source of great pride for ANYWAVES.”

Eric Pinson, Director of Space activity at Syrlinks, noted: “We are very proud to have been involved in the development of the first phase of this Internet Of Things (IoT) satellite constellation. We would like to thank Thales Alenia Space for having relied on Syrlinks for the design of a specific New-Space Radio-Frequency Payload equipment with the capability to receive, process and transmit IoT dedicated signals.”

5G capability from a single global network will serve as the communications infrastructure to support the economies of the 21st century. The network will empower mobile network operators and value-added resellers to fuel innovation, power industries, and connect billions of users.