Kongsberg satellites selected by Startical to test communication and surveillance systems of its constellation

A company created by ENAIRE and Indra, Startical will use two satellite produced by Kongsberg NanoAvionics and GOMspace to test the communication and surveillance systems of its future constellation of over 270 satellites set to provide air traffic services from space.

Startical has chosen a GOMspace microsatellite, of 20 kg, and NanoAvionics microsatellite, weighing approximately 110 kg, for a series of tests to assess performance of its VHF radio communication and ADS-B surveillance systems.

The first satellite to enter into operation will be the one from GOMspace, which will be launched by Startical in the first term of 2025.

NanoAvionics, on its side, will provide its bus, integrate the payload supplied by Indra and launch its platform in mid-year 2025, executing the first mission operations and allowing Startical to take control of the ATM systems onboard.

Startical will carry out these tests in the wake of the International Telecommunication Union’s approval on December 15th, 2023, of the use of the aeronautical communications band from space, an historic milestone and a definitive boost for this pioneering project.

J. Enrique González Laguna, CEO of Startical, stated that: “Our goal is to become the main global provider of air traffic management technology in the space segment and a market leader in satellite surveillance and voice and data communications services. Our constellation will call on highly innovative and distinctive technological solutions, including the incorporation of pioneering links between satellites and the use of artificial intelligence to make controlling them easier”.

“NanoAvionics’s and GOMspace satellites technology and market-leading experience will provide us a partner to test our new technology, which in turn will open new markets and services. They understand our requirements and have the skills to perfectly address the task.” he added.

GomSpace CEO, Carsten Drachmann, comments: “I am very excited that Startical has chosen GomSpace as a key supplier of the satellite and payload technology for their groundbreaking satellite constellation to enhance the global air traffic safety and efficiency. The journey that our two companies began a few years ago, is now moving towards completion, and I am delighted to be part of enabling the vision and ambition of J. Enrique González Laguna and his team”.

NanoAvionics CEO Žilvinas Kvedaravičius stated that: “This is an excellent opportunity for us at NanoAvionics to become Startical’s partner. We’ll bring our leadership and expertise in small satellite technology, which will be ideally complemented by Startical’s advanced vision of air traffic management. We’re committed to this mission and we’ll strive to demonstrate the capabilities and ongoing reliability of our small platform and mission services geared towards the customer”.

“We’re striving to speed up the deployment and lifespan of our systems in space so as to move New Space initiatives such as Startical on to their next phase of development. Bringing performance standards to the industry requires the robust quality and procedural assurance to which we’re dedicated”. he added.

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