Kepler Communications has signed a launch agreement with Innovative Space Logistics, working with GK Launch Services to deploy two satellites into sun-synchronous orbit in Q2-Q3 2020. The satellites will be the first of multiple batches of the next-generation platform, forming part of Kepler’s Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) constellation for global data services.
Kepler’s next generation of satellites will incorporate both a high-capacity Ku-band communications system and a narrowband payload, for both high-speed data transfers and low-power direct-to-satellite IoT connectivity.
Jared Bottoms, Head of Launch & Satellite Programs at Kepler said “ISL has been a key partner for us [Kepler] as we have grown in our deployment strategy. We are excited to continue to use their unique deployers and services, this time with GK launch services to deploy the first of the next generation.” ISL and Kepler partnered for the company’s first inaugural mission which successfully launched Kepler’s 1st satellite into orbit back in January 2018, and its next satellite later in November in the same year.
Abe Bonnema, Director of ISL, said “following the successful partnership for the launch of their demonstrator satellites, we are pleased and grateful to be selected by Kepler again for this important task of getting the first next-generation satellites to orbit on our 27th ISILaunch Campaign with our Soyuz partners next year”.
“We are happy that Kepler has chosen Soyuz-2 LV for launching its next-generation satellites. The GK team possesses all necessary competences to successfully and smoothly implement the mission, which I hope will become a good basis for building relationship with Kepler for future missions”, said GK Launch Services CEO Alexander Serkin.
Planning to place approximately 140 satellites in LEO in three incremental phases, from 2020 to 2023, Kepler continues to execute on schedule against plan. Kepler has two demonstration satellites in orbit that are currently delivering Kepler’s high-capacity data transfer service to a number of early customers.
The company’s LEO constellation will grow to become a space data relay system to serve other constellations with high-speed data backhaul capabilities. Today, Kepler is focused on building the install base for Global Data Service, its pole-to-pole wideband connectivity service for mobile and fixed applications. EverywhereIOT, Kepler’s affordable solution for Internet of Things (IoT) devices, will enter user trials in the coming months.