OQ Technology, a Dubai/Luxembourg-based satellite 5G IoT start-up, has signed a 2m euro ($2,424,718) contract with the European Space Agency as part of the Luxembourg National Space programme (LuxIMPULSE) for the in-orbit pathfinder mission (MACSAT). The contract aims to foster Luxembourg and European space partnerships and involves the development of a 6U nanosatellite, an advanced flight payload and user terminals, and their software stack.
OQ Technology will manage and operate the mission, procurement of the satellite, and also continue development and testing in lab and in orbit of satellite-based narrowband IoT software and algorithms (the wireless technology proposed for 5G machine communication), while EmTroniX (Luxembourg based company) will be responsible for the payload hardware and user hardware. OQ Technology is the prime contractor and is currently in talks with candidate satellite manufacturers that would be announced soon.
OQ Technology will also install a ground station in Luxembourg to run its spacecraft flight operations from its control centre in Leudelange (LU). The mission is planned for launch in 2021/2022 and will be a flagship for demonstrating advanced 5G IoT services in strategic satellite frequencies and for different end-customers.
Speaking about the partnership, Omar Qaise, Founder & CEO, OQ Technology, said: “The MACSAT project represents state-of-the-art development and first in the world agile nanosatellite mission dedicated to 5G technology in low earth orbit. Thanks to the technical management of the European Space Agency and business-oriented support of Luxembourg Space Agency we have advanced in a short time Narrowband IoT technology on all levels (space and ground) to be a new and attractive solution in the world of satellite communication, we are very grateful to the teams involved and happy to kick off 2021 with this collaboration.”