Blink Astro launches its first hosted custom radio payload
(2 April 2019 - SpaceWorks) Blink Astro is pleased to announce the successful launch of our custom radio payload hosted on the NanoAvionics’ M6P 6U spacecraft using the Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) PSLV-C45 launch vehicle.
The launch took place at 11:57pm EDT on March 31, 2019 from India’s Satish Dhawan Space Centre. Preliminary communications have been established with the M6P host spacecraft.
“The culmination of three years of diligent engineering design work from a very talented team has led us to this great milestone, and we are very excited to perform live field tests with our satellite IoT solution,” said Darshan Shah, Blink’s Program Manager.
The primary objective of the mission will be to demonstrate the reliability and quality of Blink’s end-to-end device connectivity solution. There will be satellite provisioning conducted by NanoAvionics for the first several weeks of this mission. Upon completion of this provisioning, Blink will conduct ground to space testing which will last several months thereafter.
Specific tests to be conducted during the technology demonstration mission will include reception and coverage of Blink’s low cost IoT ground terminals, large point-to-point network architecture antenna performance, and overall signal quality.
“Thanks very much to ISRO for the ride and to our payload hosts at NanoAvionics for their excellent support so far. Our technical teams at SpaceWorks Orbital and Blink Astro are looking forward to getting to work on testing our proprietary receiver hardware. We are bullish on the space-based IoT market, and we believe our low cost, highly efficient receiver technology and small spacecraft platforms will have a strong role to play in accelerating the growth of this global market,” added Dr. John R. Olds, CEO of Blink and Blink’s parent organization SpaceWorks Enterprises, Inc.
Blink Astro is developing a low-cost satellite-based solution for machine-to-machine (M2M) and satellite-based Internet of Things markets. Using affordable, modular BlinkSats and proprietary ground units called BlinkRs, Blink and its partners will deliver a global network for low bandwidth device connectivity to a variety of customers in precision agriculture, transportation, energy, environmental monitoring, and defense. There are expected to be 125 billion connected devices by 2030 and Blink is helping serve this market. Blink Astro is a business line of Atlanta-based SpaceWorks Enterprises.