Fleet Space’s Centauri satellite made voice capable in orbit


Nanosatellite manufacturer Fleet Space Technologies has demonstrated satellite-enabled Push-to-Talk (PTT) capabilities for the Australian Defence Force – Joint Capabilities Group as part of its ASCEND2LEO programme.

The demonstration was enabled on its Centauri-4 satellite in-orbit via remotely delivered software derived from the ‘Beagle’ communications waveform, developed under projects funded by the SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre.

Co-Founder & Chief Exploration Officer at Fleet Space Matt Pearson said: “By successfully delivering a software update to our Centauri satellite while in orbit, we are proud to be the developer and operator of the world’s smallest known voice-enabled satellite, creating new innovation pathways to advance new capabilities for the global space industry and beyond.”

According to the Adelaide company its achievement is a major leap forward in tactical communications capabilities via satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO).

Pearson said: “Our demonstration of PTT for the ASCEND2LEO program is the latest example of Fleet Space’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of innovation to meet the rapidly evolving and complex needs of the Australian Defence Force.”

ASCEND2LEO’s achievement was commended by Peter Kerr, SmartSat’s Defence & National Security Coordinator, who adapted and delivered the Beagle waveform.

Kerr said: “Enabling an entirely new voice capability for a satellite that is already in orbit is a tremendous technical accomplishment.

“With this proof of concept, SmartSat is playing a critical role in helping the Australian industry develop SATCOM resiliency for Australian Defence and validate the Regenerative Voice System architecture, a powerful and ambitious approach undertaken by the ASCEND2LEO programme.”

During the live demonstration, hosted by the Defence Science & Technology Group (DSTG), Fleet Space’s PTT capabilities met strict performance criteria for one-way voice transmission including voice quality, reliability, and link persistence across thousands of kilometres in manifold operational environments.

With the successful demonstration of this technology, Fleet Space has shown the ability of its satellites to support critical missions and the development of a resilient space infrastructure for Australia and its allies.

The ASCEND2LEO programme aims to develop and demonstrate a LEO satellite communications system leveraging Fleet Space’s next-gen Centauri satellites to deliver tactical voice and data transmission where connectivity is limited.

Fleet Space was awarded a $6.4 million contract by the Defence Space Command last year.

Picture: Fleet Space Technologies

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