Leaf Space, an Italian ground segment provider, announced plans on October 14 to expand its worldwide Leaf Line Network by five ground stations. Ground stations are being built by Leaf Space in British Columbia, and Iceland, West, as well as South Australia, “to meet the ever-increasing customer demand we’re experiencing presently, both in terms of coverage (increasing the footprint globally) and capacity (raising the overall number of contacts for every satellite we can provide,” Giovanni Pandolfi, who is the Leaf Space chief technology officer and co-founder, said.
“The locations were chosen based on these goals and always using mid-latitude distributed network model,” Pandolfi explained, “which enables us to offer higher capacity with an exact number of the antennas to various types of Low Earth Orbits,” such as sun-synchronous, mid-inclination, and equatorial orbit, while minimizing the impact of interference and satellite overlapping.”
Leaf Space will now operate 15 ground stations as a result of the additional sites. Leaf Space’s new facility in Iceland is intended to supplement the company’s current Northern Scotland facility in terms of high northern-latitude coverage. Meanwhile, stations in Australia, Bulgaria and Canada are being built to provide options for communications in the mid-latitudes, reducing the risk of band saturation, interference, and overlapping.
In the very first quarter of 2022, Leaf Space plans to expand its network to ensure that it can assist customers in communicating with satellites in any LEO (low Earth orbit.)
“Demand is definitely growing; we’re now running at ten times the capabilities we had a year ago,” Pandolfi said. “We’re predicting to double again by the close of the year with both the addition of such new ground stations backing established clients and potential satellites to be released in the coming months.” “In terms of client types, we’re seeing an increase in remote sensing satellite adoption, while the propelling markets we have already (in-space transportation, internet-of-things) are also growing in terms of satellites and missions.”
Leaf Key and Leaf Line are two of the company’s other offerings. Leaf key is a one-of-a-kind ‘ground segment as a service’ solution for the satellite operators as well as space service suppliers who require a unique and dedicated method of communicating with their space assets. When latency, data transfer channels, capacity, and cost-effectiveness are all critical, Leaf Key is the right answer.
The bottom line is that a reduced budget shouldn’t mean sacrificing mission efficacy. Leaf Line is a customized ground segment as-a-service that includes daily passes, pass distribution, and operational conditions. The ideal choice for the in-orbit demonstrations (IOD) or even other missions that require low latency and high contact time, which are common characteristics of the distributed ground station network.