Clyde Space and Kepler Communications to build TARS – a narrowband and broadband capable LEO satellite

TORONTO, August 23, 2018 – Satellite telecommunications provider, Kepler Communications, and satellite maker, Clyde Space, sign contract to build and deploy Kepler’s third LEO nanosatellite – TARS – a low-cost 6U CubeSat designed to demonstrate both low data rate and high data rate telecommunication capabilities globally.

The TARS mission is the third spacecraft to join the Kepler demonstration program and will represent a significant evolution from their first two satellites (KIPP and CASE) towards the first generation of the Kepler constellation scheduled for launch in 2020.

Upon the successful launch of KIPP in January 2018, and the scheduled launch of CASE at the end of this summer, TARS will follow-on the store-and-forward data backhaul demonstration program while also delivering lower data-rate connectivity to smaller direct-to-satellite IoT devices further expanding capabilities and the ability to supply a growing number of customers.  

Clyde Space VP of Business Development, Iraklis Hatziathanasiou, said: “We are delighted to be working with the Kepler Communications team, which has been an important and valuable customer for the development of our mission services. We hope to extend this relationship in the near future and are looking forward to continuing working with their team in Canada.”

The spacecraft will be built and tested by Clyde Space in Glasgow for delivery Q2 2019. Kepler Communications Lead Systems Engineer, Jared Bottoms, said: “Clyde Space has proven to be a great partner for KIPP and CASE missions, and we are glad to be working together again for what is to be one of the most technologically complex spacecraft for us so far.”

The TARS mission will be partially funded by UK’s Satellite Applications Catapult In-Orbit Demonstration Mission 5 (IOD 5) which is meant to accelerate the development of this technology to meet market’s demand for wide-area Internet of Things (IoT) services. In the near future, Kepler will see the establishment of its first European sales operation center based in the UK.


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