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TARS (Kepler 3, IOD 5)

TARS [ŇAC Microtec]

Kepler Communications, a small satellite startup, is designing a constellation of CubeSats for Internet of Things (IoT), machine-to-machine (M2M) and inter-satellite communications services.

Keplerís goals are to provide a vastly improved IoT backhaul for customers on the ground, as well as real time access to satellites in the same orbit. In an interview with Via Satellite, Co-Founder and CTO Wen Cheng Chong said the fresh capital has given the company the means to start building out its system.

After the first initial prototypes, KIPP and CASE, Kepler added a third improved demonstration satelite called TARS (in honor of a fictional robot from the movie 'Interstellar'), which will be built by ŇAC Microtec. Besides the store and forward payload, TARS will also include a narrowband communications payload to carry small amounts of data from numerous Internet of Things devices.

Additionally, the TARS satellite provides also space for Catapult's IOD-5 in-orbit demonstration mission.

The constellation would then expand to an initial size of 10 to 15 satellites in a polar orbit. With this fleet, the company would provide low data rate communications for various user terminals to the satellite, and a very large pipe to the gateway when over ground stations. For a late phase, the constellation might be increased to 120 satellites.

The 6U CubeSat features deployable solar arrays, software defined radios (SDR), a narrowband communications payload and high gain antennas.

Nation: Canada
Type / Application: Communication M2M/IoT
Operator: Kepler Communications, Catapult
Contractors: ŇAC Microtec
Equipment: SDR, narrowband communications payload
Configuration: CubeSat (3U)
Propulsion: None
Power: Solar cells, batteries
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
TARS (Kepler 3, IOD 5) 2020-061AZ 03.09.2020 Ko ELV Vega with Athena, ION-SVC 1, ESAIL, UPMSat 2, NEMO-HD, —uSat 6, GHGSat C1, Flock-4v 1, ..., 26, Lemur-2 112, ..., 119, SpaceBEE 10, ..., 21, FSSCat A, B, NAPA 1, Tyvak 0171, OSM 1 CICERO, DIDO 3, PICASSO, SIMBA, TRISAT, AMICal-Sat, TT‹100
Further Catapult IOD missions: