Skip to content

KSAT and Astro Digital team up to revolutionize the collection and delivery of big data

(7 february 2017) The recent partnership between Norway’s KSAT (Kongsberg Satellite Services) and Silicon Valley’s Astro Digital will forever transform how Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites deliver big data from space. Fast-growing SmallSat companies will be the most immediate beneficiaries.

KSAT and Astro Digital collaborated to bring the new Ka-band capability into a KSAT Lite portfolio, a ground station network optimized for SmallSats. Both companies innovated for high-volume downlink and developed a business model that made the massive data load accessible at an optimized price point. As Chris Biddy, Astro Digital’s Co-Founder and CEO, recognizes, “We work closely with KSAT to bring new capabilities to the market. We leverage each other’s experience to form a cost efficient solution by utilizing the key technology and infrastructure.”

Kongsberg’s U.S. Sales Director for Satellite Ground Systems, Stig-Are Thrana draws a comparison between Ka-band features and wireless coverage: “Ka-band allows for higher bandwidth and more data downloaded each day. This is similar to getting higher and higher data rates on your mobile phone and on your wireless routers over the years by utilizing higher frequency bands.”

Ka-band is a great alternative for X-band, unlocking new capacity in a commonly- used spectrum. Astro Digital’s transmitters operate in the Ka-band spectrum with KSAT’s revolutionary ground stations, located pole-to-pole in the driest conditions on earth, spanning from 78° north in the Arctic to 72° south in Antarctica. High-frequency Ka-band makes very high data rates possible in small efficient packages, enabling the downlink of big data from satellite to earth.

Kongsberg newly established presence in the Silicon Valley unlocks incredible opportunities for satellites startups. The KSAT Lite solution offers cost-effective downlinks of high throughput and high frequency data from a global ground station network with more than 20 sites. Stig-Are Thrana shares KSAT’s excitement: “Continuous innovation and development of new capabilities – and new business models – this is of paramount importance to us.”

For more information contact Kongsberg’s U.S. Sales Director Stig-Are Thrana:
Mobile: +1 650 417 8622 e-mail: