‘Supercomputer’ nanosatellites built in Glasgow

Posted on 05 Aug 2019 and read 623 times
‘Supercomputer’ nanosatellites built in Glasgow Two nanosatellites — built by Glasgow-based Spire Global — that could revolutionise how data is downloaded from space were launched last month by a Roscosmos Soyuz-2.1b rocket.

Spire Global (www.spire.com) operates a network of nanosatellites, which collect (and transmit) a range of data.

The latest two — supported by the UK Space Agency — are supercomputers that will be able to process and cherry-pick data from other satellites in orbit before transmitting it to Earth — freeing up bandwidth for other tasks and users.

Both satellites were developed under the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Pioneer programme, which transforms R&D investment into successful commercial products and services by offering varying degrees of support to projects with different levels of operational and commercial maturity.

Pioneer programme manager Khalil Kably said: “The whole idea of the Pioneer programme is to give European and Canadian industries access to space — rapidly and at low cost.

"As soon as they have an innovative idea — such as supercomputing by Spire here — we want people to be able to try it in orbit. It’s the ability to go from a new idea to market very quickly, through in-orbit validation.”

Spire Global CEO Peter Platzer said: “We see these parallel supercomputing scalable devices as the crucial next step for a new level of accuracy in space data analytics.

"The UK Space Agency and ESA have been extremely forward-looking and supportive of Spire’s innovative approach to deploying space technology to solve problems here on Earth.”

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