Space-as-a-Service Becomes Next Frontier for Aussie Startups

Image credit: iStockphoto/Elen11

Australian space industry startups Antaris and Quasar Satellite Technologies are bringing a breakthrough innovation in satellite constellation management to market together.

Under the new partnership agreement, Quasar’s digital multibeam Phased Array technology, which allows customers to manage spacecraft constellations through a single ground station connection, will be integrated into Antaris Inc’s software-defined Open Satellite Platform. The latter’s platform is a SaaS marketplace solution for orbiting mission design.

Quasar is a Ground Station as a Service (GSaaS) offering space communications and space domain awareness. The company is developing an Australian capability for multibeam satellite ground stations based on cryogenically cooled phased array antenna technology developed by CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency.

Quasar’s fully digital ground station can communicate with up to 100 satellites simultaneously on the same antenna, significantly increasing the efficiency of access to space while reducing communication costs. Quasar will fully support open satellite communication standards for maximum interoperability.

Antaris will be one of Quasar’s first demonstration users once the company’s multibeam service launches in early 2023. Antaris plans to make ground contact from its demonstrator satellite — launching in late 2022 — via an API service with the company’s S-band antenna and other bands in the future.

Antaris will then offer Quasar connectivity to its customer base, which is expected to include satcomms providers, space agencies, defense and intelligence entities and contractors, and space startups.

Both companies are part of the Aurora Space Cluster, which connects early and growth-stage startup and scale-up companies with mentors, supporting partners, corporates, and aerospace primes to create opportunities for commercial and R&D collaboration and growth. 

Antaris cofounder Shankar Sivaprakasam described Quasar’s digital multibeam Phased Array ground station as a game-changer.

“Rather than having to establish links to satellite constellations using multiple ground stations and providers, Quasar’s connectivity from a single station vastly simplifies and creates a cost-effective earth-spacecraft communication,” he said.

“Being able to offer Quasar connectivity-as-a-service via the Antaris software-defined satellite platform for our SaaS customers will give us a significant advantage as we start to roll out our platform to clients across the world.”

Image credit: iStockphoto/Elen11