Author Topic: Swarm Technologies Applies to operate 150 sats  (Read 8746 times)

Offline lukelol

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Swarm Technologies Applies to operate 150 sats
« on: 01/01/2019 09:26 pm »
FCC Application
https://fcc.report/IBFS/SAT-LOA-20181221-00094

150 microsats,
0.31 to 0.45 kilograms
11x11x2.8 cm
Antennas are 114 cm from tip to tip and are released once in orbit
more details here https://fcc.report/IBFS/SAT-LOA-20181221-00094/1592875

« Last Edit: 01/02/2019 02:41 pm by gongora »

Offline tleski

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Re: Swarm Technologies Applies to operate 150 microsats
« Reply #1 on: 01/02/2019 01:18 pm »
These are definitely too small to call them microsats (which are much bigger, typically 10 to 100 kg wet mass). The Swarm satellites rather qualify as picosats (less than 1 kg).
See here for smallsat classification.
 
« Last Edit: 01/02/2019 06:05 pm by tleski »

Offline Asteroza

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Re: Swarm Technologies Applies to operate 150 sats
« Reply #2 on: 01/08/2019 05:25 am »
Considering the FCC was screaming bloody murder over the SpaceBee picosats being less than 3cm edge on being a nav hazard due to space fence radar passive detection capabilities, and fined the SpaceBro's $900k for that unlicensed launch, these guys have balls for trying again with the same dimensions.

Due to the US government shutdown, we can't see the PDF. How are they going to address the passive detection problem this time around?

Offline gongora

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Re: Swarm Technologies Applies to operate 150 sats
« Reply #3 on: 01/08/2019 02:06 pm »
Considering the FCC was screaming bloody murder over the SpaceBee picosats being less than 3cm edge on being a nav hazard due to space fence radar passive detection capabilities, and fined the SpaceBro's $900k for that unlicensed launch, these guys have balls for trying again with the same dimensions.

Due to the US government shutdown, we can't see the PDF. How are they going to address the passive detection problem this time around?

They attached studies of tracking on their first SpaceBee sats.  (If you have a link into the IBFS site you can still access those filings, they just turned off the home page and search page.  On the ELS side it's all down.)
« Last Edit: 01/08/2019 02:09 pm by gongora »

Offline Arb

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Re: Swarm Technologies Applies to operate 150 sats
« Reply #4 on: 01/08/2019 05:51 pm »
Considering the FCC was screaming bloody murder over the SpaceBee picosats being less than 3cm edge on being a nav hazard due to space fence radar passive detection capabilities, and fined the SpaceBro's $900k for that unlicensed launch, these guys have balls for trying again with the same dimensions.

Due to the US government shutdown, we can't see the PDF. How are they going to address the passive detection problem this time around?

They attached studies of tracking on their first SpaceBee sats.  (If you have a link into the IBFS site you can still access those filings, they just turned off the home page and search page.  On the ELS side it's all down.)

TL:DR Radar reflectors; four on each satellite.

Offline gongora

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Re: Swarm Technologies Applies to operate 150 sats
« Reply #5 on: 01/09/2019 03:43 am »
Swarm, after FCC blunder, hires satellite regulatory veteran Kalpak Gude
Quote
Swarm Technologies, a satellite communications startup infamous for launching four satellites without regulatory approval last year, has hired Kalpak Gude, a well-known spectrum and regulatory expert, to lead its global regulatory activity.
...
Gude previously handled regulatory affairs at global satellite fleet operator Intelsat before moving into a similar role at OneWeb, a SoftBank-funded startup preparing to deploy hundreds of broadband smallsats. Gude also handled regulatory activity for Panamsat, a satellite operator Intelsat bought in 2006.

Offline Dao Angkan

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Re: Swarm Technologies Applies to operate 150 sats
« Reply #6 on: 01/09/2019 08:47 pm »
Swarm, after FCC blunder, hires satellite regulatory veteran Kalpak Gude
Quote
Swarm Technologies, a satellite communications startup infamous for launching four satellites without regulatory approval last year, has hired Kalpak Gude, a well-known spectrum and regulatory expert, to lead its global regulatory activity.
...
Gude previously handled regulatory affairs at global satellite fleet operator Intelsat before moving into a similar role at OneWeb, a SoftBank-funded startup preparing to deploy hundreds of broadband smallsats. Gude also handled regulatory activity for Panamsat, a satellite operator Intelsat bought in 2006.

That's a very sensible way to regain confidence with the regulatory authorities.

Offline gongora

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Re: Swarm Technologies Applies to operate 150 sats
« Reply #7 on: 01/25/2019 01:54 pm »
Swarm raises $25 million for smallsat constellation
Quote
Swarm Technologies, the startup that ran afoul of the FCC last year for its unauthorized launch, has raised $25 million to continue building and deploying a constellation of 150 very small satellites.

Palo Alto, California-based Swarm said Jan. 24 that it has raised more than $28 million in total since forming in 2017. The new Series A funds will go toward deploying the company’s full constellation over the next 18 months, as well as adding new hires and boosting technology development.

Offline HMXHMX

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Re: Swarm Technologies Applies to operate 150 sats
« Reply #8 on: 01/25/2019 09:37 pm »
Swarm raises $25 million for smallsat constellation
Quote
Swarm Technologies, the startup that ran afoul of the FCC last year for its unauthorized launch, has raised $25 million to continue building and deploying a constellation of 150 very small satellites.

Palo Alto, California-based Swarm said Jan. 24 that it has raised more than $28 million in total since forming in 2017. The new Series A funds will go toward deploying the company’s full constellation over the next 18 months, as well as adding new hires and boosting technology development.

Man, I must be getting old.  I remember when flouting FCC regs, launching without a license and getting fined nearly $1m would have doomed a company overnight – instead they raise $28m.

Online TrevorMonty

Re: Swarm Technologies Applies to operate 150 sats
« Reply #9 on: 02/12/2019 02:08 am »
Here SpaceQ podcast with Sarah CEO.

https://spaceq.ca/swarm-technologies-moves-past-controversial-year/

Satellites orbits are 400-550km. No propulsion or gyros on sats, have some passive means to make them always face earth. Life is 3-4yrs before deorbiting naturally. Size is 1/4U 100x100x25mm.
Expect to have 150 sat constellation operational mid 2020.

They support IoT size data eg 100-200byte packets. Offering Tilebee for single devices /sensors and also solar powered LoRa gateway for groups of devices.

I've asked for info on these devices as our company supports few Lora devices and rural coverage is an issue.

 Given launch cost of about $80k for 1U should be around $20k so $3M to launch there 150 sat constellation. I'd expect it to be lot lower when constellation needs replacing in 3years, given flood of small LVs coming online in next few years.

Offline mlindner

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Re: Swarm Technologies Applies to operate 150 sats
« Reply #10 on: 06/04/2019 11:04 pm »
https://twitter.com/SwarmInternet/status/1135942603269070848

Reminds me of when I was in college. Yes they're using plain old metal measuring tape for the antenna. I guess the volume isn't large enough for buying custom laminated spring steel. It works well for how much it costs as tape measure always returns to the same straight shape which is perfect for folding up antennas. The antennas are held on with plastic fishing line, but it looks like they're using a slightly different material here. At some point it's wrapped around a low ohm resistor that gets the entire battery load dumped across it that heats up the resistor causing it to melt through the fishing line/plastic line which then causes the antennas to release.
« Last Edit: 06/04/2019 11:21 pm by mlindner »

Offline mlindner

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Re: Swarm Technologies Applies to operate 150 sats
« Reply #11 on: 06/04/2019 11:08 pm »
Here SpaceQ podcast with Sarah CEO.

https://spaceq.ca/swarm-technologies-moves-past-controversial-year/

Satellites orbits are 400-550km. No propulsion or gyros on sats, have some passive means to make them always face earth. Life is 3-4yrs before deorbiting naturally. Size is 1/4U 100x100x25mm.
Expect to have 150 sat constellation operational mid 2020.

They support IoT size data eg 100-200byte packets. Offering Tilebee for single devices /sensors and also solar powered LoRa gateway for groups of devices.

I've asked for info on these devices as our company supports few Lora devices and rural coverage is an issue.

 Given launch cost of about $80k for 1U should be around $20k so $3M to launch there 150 sat constellation. I'd expect it to be lot lower when constellation needs replacing in 3years, given flood of small LVs coming online in next few years.

Just to clarify, the "passive means" likely refers to the on-board magnets that cause them to self-align to Earth's magnetic field (not magnetorquers technically). We used them on cubesats at Michigan (and these are all Michigan folks) so they're likely designed almost identically to what was used then. It causes them to set up a constant rotation that's roughly 1 rotation per orbital period (vertically aligned over the poles and horizontal at the equator).

Assuming they're doing this, they're not "always facing earth" but they're generally facing earth unless you're near the poles, which is just fine for most applications.

Edit: It sounds like they're not actually doing this after actually listening to the podcast... I'm rather surprised they're not though.
« Last Edit: 06/05/2019 01:22 am by mlindner »

Offline mlindner

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Re: Swarm Technologies Applies to operate 150 sats
« Reply #12 on: 08/17/2019 08:40 pm »
I'll be visiting Swarm Technologies on Friday (August 23) if anyone has any questions they want answered.

Offline gongora

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Re: Swarm Technologies Applies to operate 150 sats
« Reply #13 on: 08/17/2019 09:07 pm »
On the business side how many providers do they think the market can support, and at what kind of pricing?  There are a couple of dozen (at least) announced IoT constellations in the works.  Obviously prices are going to plummet from what companies like Iridium have been charging (at least for any application that doesn't need constant contact).  Swarm seems to be heading for pole position in this race to actually put a constellation in orbit, do they feel good about where they're at?

Offline mlindner

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Re: Swarm Technologies Applies to operate 150 sats
« Reply #14 on: 08/23/2019 09:06 pm »
I had to sign an NDA so I can't talk about much.

They have some really impressive stuff going on and the technology is great.

I asked about the FCC situation and the story is _incredibly_ interesting. (I cleared the following to make sure it was okay.) Basically in short, they had different information and were told different things and they thought they were fine to launch. It was a miscommunication that occurred. I wish I could tell the story, it's incredible and rather funny in an irony sort of way.

Also despite FCC fining them, they are getting along great with the FCC and are going to get their full certification for the full constellation very soon. (Was also told this is okay to say.) I think we'll hear about that later this year I'm assuming.

Edit: Oh and I got to meet Sara Spangelo (the CEO) again as I hadn't seen her in a long time. (The personal tour/chat was conducted by her.) She was awesome and nice and very open with almost any questions I had. So that was neat as well. Nice to still have inside connections.
« Last Edit: 08/24/2019 09:40 am by mlindner »

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Swarm Technologies Applies to operate 150 sats
« Reply #15 on: 04/13/2020 08:08 am »
Quote
Swarm gains full regulatory approval to operate commercially
Sara Spangelo
Apr 6 · 2 min read

We are thrilled to announce that Swarm is now fully licensed to launch our commercial offering. Having received all regulatory approvals to operate commercially in the US, in several other countries, and over international waters, we are one step closer to providing affordable satellite connectivity to the world.

https://medium.com/swarm-technologies/swarm-gains-full-regulatory-approval-to-operate-commercially-7df270a5b0a

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: Swarm Technologies Applies to operate 150 sats
« Reply #16 on: 04/13/2020 08:11 pm »
Quote
Swarm gains full regulatory approval to operate commercially
Sara Spangelo
Apr 6 · 2 min read

We are thrilled to announce that Swarm is now fully licensed to launch our commercial offering. Having received all regulatory approvals to operate commercially in the US, in several other countries, and over international waters, we are one step closer to providing affordable satellite connectivity to the world.

https://medium.com/swarm-technologies/swarm-gains-full-regulatory-approval-to-operate-commercially-7df270a5b0a
Is this a trustworthy news site and author with two sources or is this a pay for content news model??

Online Skyrocket

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Re: Swarm Technologies Applies to operate 150 sats
« Reply #17 on: 04/13/2020 08:24 pm »
Quote
Swarm gains full regulatory approval to operate commercially
Sara Spangelo
Apr 6 · 2 min read

We are thrilled to announce that Swarm is now fully licensed to launch our commercial offering. Having received all regulatory approvals to operate commercially in the US, in several other countries, and over international waters, we are one step closer to providing affordable satellite connectivity to the world.

https://medium.com/swarm-technologies/swarm-gains-full-regulatory-approval-to-operate-commercially-7df270a5b0a
Is this a trustworthy news site and author with two sources or is this a pay for content news model??

Medium is a "social journalism" platform and blog host.
Sara Spangelo is co-founder and CEO of Swarm.
So the https://medium.com/swarm-technologies area of Medium is a Swarm Technologies corporate blog.



Offline su27k

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Re: Swarm Technologies Applies to operate 150 sats
« Reply #18 on: 04/24/2020 05:28 am »
Swarm teams with Momentus to spread out SpaceBees

Quote
Swarm Technologies is working with in-space transportation startup Momentus to send its constellation of tiny internet-of-things satellites into different orbital planes.

Under an agreement announced April 22, Momentus will arrange rides for 12 Swarm SpaceBee satellites on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rideshare mission in December 2020 with additional SpaceBee launches scheduled in 2021 and 2022.

Offline TorenAltair

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Tags: fcc swarm microsat cubesat 
 

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