CES 2019: Astrocast launches IoT into space; delivers communications to remote areas for marine, industrial devices

Astrocast launched on Monday three new pilots of its Low Earth Orbit Nanosatellite Network. The pilots with Actia, Marine Instruments, and Swiss Fresh Water highlight the power of satellite networks to deliver affordable communications to extremely remote areas.

Designed specifically for IoT, Astrocast’s two-way system allows companies to monitor and control their remote assets, including over-the-air upgrades at lower latency and cost than existing satellite communications networks.

Currently only 10 percent of the world is covered by cellular networks and less than 1 percent is covered by IoT networks like LoRaWAN or Sigfox. With the launch of its initial L-Band, two-way communication nanosatellite in December, Astrocast plans to deliver global accessibility at an affordable price. Until now, satellite communications were cost prohibitive for most companies. Now, even small companies with a big impact, like Swiss Fresh Water that is bringing water purification to remote villages around the world, are able to monitor their machines from anywhere.

Astrocast is a nanosatellite network of 64 cubesats designed to transmit and receive low bandwidth data from IoT devices. Astrocast is the first complete solution to deliver complete coverage of the globe including remote areas; lowest latency low earth orbit network; two-way communications; L-Band and S-Band frequencies; communication module smaller than a credit card designed in partnership with Airbus; 256 bit encryption with multi-level security; and web application for monitoring assets and subscription plan.

Astrocast SA, in partnership with the European Space Agency, Airbus, and Thuraya, is developing an advanced nanosatellite network for the Internet of things (IoT). Airbus and Astrocast have developed a low-cost ASIC and module that provides the most power efficient satellite modem for IoT applications. The constellation will consist of 64 CubeSat satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and will provide low latency global coverage. Astrocast was founded in 2014 by the developers of Swiss Cube, one of the longest lasting, operational nanosatellites in space.

“Our onboard telematic equipment is designed to support some of the toughest work, in the most remote areas of the world. Agriculture, construction and transportation companies are among the many companies relying on us to keep connected vehicles,” said Philippe Cabon, CTO of Actia. “Astrocast will help us to connect vehicles everywhere.”

“When we started this project, we knew we had the right tools and technology to bring clean water to the world. Our water stations are at the center of some very remote villages and are a lifeline to those communities,” said Mr. Jean-Luc Mossier, Executive Chairman of Swiss Fresh Water. “With Astrocast we can make sure these treatment machines are producing clean drinking water and remotely perform maintenance to ensure their operations.”

“It is very important for our customers to be able to track and monitor their marine buoys, especially deep at sea and in extreme conditions,” said Francisco Pino, co-owner of Marine Instruments. “Our collaboration with Astrocast will make monitoring and controlling IoT devices in remote areas more feasible, especially when the area is hundreds of thousands of nautical miles wide.”

“The growth of IoT devices for commercial purposes is outpacing anything the analysts predicted. And in many cases these devices are performing tasks that are impacting the lives of entire populations,” said Fabien Jordan, CEO of Astrocast. “Astrocast is helping make world changing new IoT applications possible.”

The Astrocast pilots will continue throughout the first quarter of this year. Companies interested in joining the Astrocast pilot program can email for more information.


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