With the help of mission integrator NanoAvionics, US-based company Blink successfully tests communication link between its satellite-based IoT receiver and its ground terminals.
Blink Astro, LLC. (Blink), a wholly-owned subsidiary of SpaceWorks Enterprises, is the small satellite unit within the overall SpaceWorks group of companies based in Atlanta, Georgia. BlinkAstro is developing an affordable and reliable data messaging service via IoT ground terminals and a small network of nanosatellites operating in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). Addressing customer’s needs in various markets, the company is currently offering a satellite data network support and plans to provide cloud-based data analytics for consumer insights in the near future.
With Space-based IoT and M2M connectivity predicted to be one of the most rapidly growing LEO market, Blink was looking for a way to quickly and cost-effectively test and demonstrate some of its own IoT technologies in orbit. More specifically, the desired goal of the Blink Technology Demonstration (BTD-1) mission was to demonstrate the reliability and quality of its custom IoT radio receiver and planar antenna technologies and perform live field tests.
NanoAvionics offered a complete mission package taking care of all aspects of spacecraft and launcher integration, matching Blink’s requirements for low-cost testing of unique IoT. We provided Blink Astro’s engineering team with 24/7 access to our Vilnius-based FlatSat for remote script testing and debugging, which was a cost-effective solution eliminating extra investment on producing and shipping own demo hardware.
Once the customer’s payload was finished, we integrated it into our flight-proven 6U satellite bus, which was launched onboard PSLV launch vehicle from India on the 1st of April 2019. When M6P reached the orbit, Blink continued receiving assistance with ad hoc payload reconfigurations.
After three months of testing, the mission was completed as Blink Astro’s IoT/M2M comms technology successfully demonstrated the anticipated performance that enabled Blink to progress to the next ‘Technology Readiness Level’ and move closer to its final products and services.
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