SatixFy Communications, a leader in next-generation satellite communication systems based on in-house-developed chipsets, has announced that the OneWeb JoeySat satellite was successfully launched from California on Saturday, May 20, 2023.
This advanced broadband satellite, designed to offer high-speed internet connectivity anywhere on Earth, has been nicknamed ‘JoeySat’ after a baby kangaroo for its beam-hopping abilities. The satellite is able to remotely direct and boost its beams to focus coverage on certain locations, such as areas of high usage where the network is struggling to cope with demand. Its fully digital beam-hopping and beam-steering payload, provided by SatixFy, can switch between various places on Earth up to 1000 times per second and adjust the strength of the communications signals to meet demand.
The satellite was developed under a £32 million grant from the UK Space Agency via the Sunrise Partnership, which is a project between the European Space Agency and telecommunications operator OneWeb. Its advanced digital regenerative payload was built, tested, and fully qualified by SatixFy. The flexible payload is fully software defined and will be reconfigurable in orbit.
"We are proud to be a key technology provider for the future of satellite-provided broadband internet and part of this European Space Agency project," commented Charlie Bloomfield, CEO of SatixFy Space Systems. “Our solution enables the fine-tuning and steering of bandwidth to the location of bandwidth demand via our software defined on-board processors, digital beamforming, and hopping antennas. We believe this has the potential to be a game-changer for the future of resilient multi-orbit satellite communication and are very excited as this nascent market continues to grow and develop.”
Paul Bate, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, said: “OneWeb’s JoeySat will be a game-changer for satellite communications, offering the chance to improve people’s lives through reliable connectivity, whether that means better broadband services in remote places or the ability to respond more effectively to emergency situations. As part of our priority to deliver missions and capabilities to our flourishing space sector, the UK Space Agency has invested more than £50 million into the mission, funding both the innovative technology behind JoeySat’s creation and the development of a wider ecosystem that will ensure a reliable and sustainable end-to-end service.”
Javier Benedicto, Acting Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications at ESA, said: “ESA’s Partnership Projects maximize the benefits to agile space companies in Europe thanks to efficient co-management tailored to the best commercial practices. The JoeySat satellite demonstrator for OneWeb’s next-generation constellation is a superb example of this cooperation.”
Massimiliano Ladovaz, CTO of OneWeb, said: “We are grateful to SatixFy for their cutting-edge work to design JoeySat, and we are thrilled to see this innovative satellite now in-orbit. We have long believed that innovation is best achieved through collaboration and partnerships, like those developed under Sunrise for JoeySat, that have brought together industry leaders and government to work together to see how we can all meet the changing connectivity needs of people around the world.”
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