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By establishing an office in Silicon Valley, the Norwegian company is aiming to provide faster and more closely integrated support on the KSAT ground solutions optimized for constellations of small satellites.
KSAT has twenty operational ground sites around the world, which operate as one interconnected network supporting both legacy and small satellites.
The KSAT network benefits from a legacy of performance, having supported leading space agencies like NASA, ESA, and JAXA for decades.
“KSAT has more than 50 years of experience from the space industry and in this time we have built up a unique ground station network for uplink, downlink, and command and control of satellites,” says Rolf Skatteboe, President and CEO of KSAT.
“We see KSAT’s expertise and infrastructure is highly valued by the new commercial operators, and we are already providing services to many of these companies. I’m pleased to expand KSAT’s global footprint, not only on the ground station locations but also our physical presence. Staying close to the customers is always the most important thing,” says Skatteboe.
US Sales Director, Stig-Are Thrana, has been in Silicon Valley for two years already, preparing the establishment of the office and getting closely connected in the market.
“Over the last five years KSAT has been working in a fast changing and dynamic space industry. By getting to know the market needs really well, we have developed new and tailor-made services, putting ourselves in prime positions to support the New Space industry,” says Thrana.
Together with Katherine Monson, who has joined the KSAT team in August after leading the Ground Station department for Spire Global – the team is ready for growth, looking to hire at least one more person this spring.
Silicon Valley’s mentality has fully entered the space industry and the emphasis is now on fast development and the use of cheaper off-the-shelf components for satellites, leveraging developments in the mobile and PC industry.
In addition, innovative technology within Artificial Intelligence and machine learning is making it possible for satellite owners and operators to process large amounts of data (big data) in different and better ways than before. Aspects of business as usual are challenged, as new commercial companies supported by venture capital are constantly emerging, building aggressively to position themselves in the marketplace.
All satellites launched need to get the data down to Earth. For KSAT, the core business is to download all this data and deliver it to the customers doorstep with low latency. As Thrana explains:
“For polar orbiting satellites, KSAT´s locations in Tromsø (69´North) and on Svalbard (78´North) are simply unique. This is why in 10 years we have installed more than 60 antenna systems on Svalbard, and due to the fast expansion of the smallsat industry, we expect this number to rapidly increase in the years to come.”
The office officially opened during the week of the international SmallSat Symposium in Mountain View. The conference has become one of the largest within the New Space industry, with more than 2,000 visitors participating.