Open Cosmos, a leading SpaceTech startup simplifying access to space to help solve the world’s biggest challenges, has announced the launch of OpenConstellation – a global, shared satellite infrastructure built and managed by Open Cosmos to enable anyone to access satellite data to address challenges around the climate crisis, energy, natural disasters and resources.
Unveiled at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Paris, the OpenConstellation will allow any country, institution or company to contribute their own satellites and create the world’s biggest mutualised constellation.
OpenConstellation is the next stage in Open Cosmos’s mission to create a world empowered by actionable information from space. Launching a satellite to access vital data has in the past been prohibitively expensive, yet the OpenConstellation project will allow national and regional governments, as well as businesses and organisations with more conservative budgets, to participate and access insightful, actionable data from space for the first time while keeping high levels of governance and security.
The OpenConstellation consists of a shared satellite infrastructure managed by Open Cosmos’ ground operations team. It is based on advanced technologies that the company has developed in partnership with space agencies and combines the latest satellite telecommunication capabilities with the most advanced earth observation sensors and data processing capabilities. Partner members of the OpenConstellation are able to contribute satellites in return for access to high-quality data frequently delivered over their areas of interest.
A mutualised infrastructure provides the right balance between the budget organisations or governments can afford and the associated performance they need. It provides a great advantage to its members by multiplying their ability to cover their areas of interest and to revisit in case of emergency. Other benefits include the ability to respond in near real-time to emergencies and natural hazards and the positive impact on national and regional policies thanks to unparalleled access to frequent and varied data sources and applications.
In addition to manufacturing and managing the launch of the small-satellite platforms, Open Cosmos will be responsible for satellite housekeeping and the downlinking and processing of payload data. This data will then be available for partner agencies to access and analyse through Open Cosmos’ data sharing platform, DataCosmos, which was launched earlier this year. The cloud-based platform offers a powerful interface with different types of imagery, data from complementary sources such as vectors, drones and sensors, results from algorithms and a roster of applications that can make satellite imagery useful and valuable.
Open Cosmos designs, manufactures and operates satellites that provide global, reliable data to solve global challenges. It is one of the few companies in the world capable of delivering end-to-end satellite missions fast and affordably. This is due to its unique combination of compact satellites, proprietary mission operation software and data platform, as well as its mutualised approach for sharing capacity, which will power the OpenConstellation.
At the moment, all satellites in the OpenConstellation are built by Open Cosmos and include its multispectral (RGB, NIR) 12U Cubesats; and the Cubesat 6U which covers 32 bands with a resolution of 4.95m and 20km swath. Additional satellites with higher resolution and covering other bands of the spectrum are planned to be added in a second phase.
The first generation of OpenConstellation satellites will start to launch in November later this year and with satellites contributed by leading space organisations in the UK, Spain and Portugal. Future batches of the constellation will be announced, from existing and new members, with the aim to provide a total of 25 satellites with the mix of spatial and spectral resolution the market is requiring.
It is only through the range of satellites being used as part of OpenConstellation, and their respective resolutions and bands, and through the shared nature of the infrastructure that challenges such as monitoring agricultural programmes, detecting environmental threats and identifying illegal mining practices can be accurately and adequately addressed. The increased coverage and operational support also mean the utilisation of the satellites is much higher than single dedicated constellations or satellites, making each launch exponentially more useful.
Rafel Jorda Siquier, founder and CEO of Open Cosmos, said: “The main challenges the world faces today are global and satellites naturally provide that global perspective we need to make the right decisions. The key objective of OpenConstellation is to make necessary data and information from space more accessible. A mutualised infrastructure will provide the right balance between the budget organisations or government can afford and the associated performance they need.”