Building upon many years of experience developing sophisticated mobile satellite communication terminals, and with a view to expand its business beyond traditional Earth-bound markets, Addvalue began in 2012 to explore the feasibility of developing a terminal suitable for deployment on small Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites. The aim is to provide a cost effective yet comes with low latency, on-demand data communications known as Inter-Satellite Data Relay System (IDRS™) services to support LEO satellite operations.
In December 2015, with the support of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore), VELOX-II LEO satellite, a 13 kg, six-unit CubeSat, has been launched successfully which carries a space-qualified data relay terminal, a key component of Addvalue’s Inter-satellite Data Relay System (IDRS™) that keeps VELOX-II in contact with its ground control team, at any time and from anywhere in space. The IDRS™ terminal aboard the VELOX-II, provides a high capacity two-way IP based data service for LEO satellite operations, connecting the satellite to the ground via the constellation of Inmarsat-4 Geosynchronous Orbit (GEO) satellites, allowing for 24 by 7, on-demand persistent link with the satellite. This innovation enables real-time on-demand communications with any LEO satellite – a challenge faced by all LEO satellites until today. After more than a year of continuous testing, the proof-of-concept mission was validated successfully.
The Addvalue IDRS™ terminal is a good fit for LEO satellites of all sizes, down to the “New Space” Nano-satellites.
On 11 August 2017, Addvalue and Inmarsat, the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, have signed a Master Service Agreement to launch the IDRS service, a world’s first commercial on-demand communications service to support LEO satellite operations. Addvalue and Inmarsat will work together to take the IDRS service to market, with Addvalue providing the IDRS flight hardware to be carried on board the LEO satellites and serving as the distributor of IDRS airtime to LEO satellite operators.