NorthStar Earth & Space secures radio frequency spectrum license approval for planned satellite constellation


NorthStar Earth & Space (NorthStar) has received approval in principle from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) authorizing NorthStar to use all of the company’s requested radio frequency spectrum allocation for its planned 52-satellite constellation that will deliver a suite of information services related to Earth and space sustainability.

Specifically, ISED has authorized use for all NorthStar requested Ka-band and X-band radio-frequency ranges, ensuring that NorthStar will have the bandwidth required to deliver millions of images per day of highly detailed, information-rich imagery from multiple sensor types. The ISED approval in principle confirms NorthStar’s Canadian spectrum application is in full compliance with the Radio Regulations of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), an agency of the United Nations.

The full NorthStar 52-satellite constellation will be deployed in two segments. The initial 12-satellite constellation, named “Skylark”, is designed with optical sensors directed to near-Earth space and will deliver services to enhance Space Situational Awareness (SSA) and the safety of the space environment. NorthStar will launch a further forty satellites to enhance Skylark with additional optical sensors, while deploying a combination of hyperspectral and infrared (IR) sensors to provide unique and valuable Earth observation capabilities.

“As NorthStar is advancing towards the launch of its first three Skylark satellites, this authorization from ISED to operate NorthStar’s planned 52-satellite constellation with the radio-frequency spectrum that we’ll need is an important milestone” said Stewart Bain, CEO of NorthStar Earth & Space.

NorthStar’s Skylark satellites will enable the delivery of near real-time high-fidelity SSA information services, elevating traditional SSA to the level of Space Information & Intelligence (Si2). With a comprehensive view of all near-earth orbits (LEO, MEO, GEO & beyond), Skylark’s space-based sensors will deliver precise observations of more space objects with higher revisit frequency per object than any current system. Skylark will deliver a suite of decision-quality information services derived from its unparalleled coverage, object custody, and enhanced predictive capabilities.

Following the full operating capability of NorthStar’s debut Skylark SSA constellation, the follow-on forty satellite constellation will deploy a combination of hyperspectral and IR sensors to provide exceptional Earth observation capabilities, generating information-rich content enabling unique and valuable Earth Information and Intelligence (Ei2) services for a wide range of industry, government and military customers.

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