Swarm Technologies provides satellite connectivity solutions with a low-cost satellite network. The company has manufactured and launched Pico-satellites that are used for multiple industries including maritime shipping, agriculture, energy and ground transportation industry.
Swarm was a start-up privately held company when it was acquired by SpaceX in 2021. The company is building a LEO satellite constellation for communications with Internet of Things (IOT) devices using a Store and forward design, a technique in which information is sent to an intermediate station where it is kept and sent at a later time.
Swarm’s Tile product was commercialized in 2021. The Tile, is a small modem that can be embedded in various connectivity devices. It can then be linked to the satellite network to allow users a low-cost way to power Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
The company is disrupting the satellite communications industry which typically suffers from costly data services and expensive and large hardware.
Swarm is operating the SpaceBEE constellation of Pico-satellites (CubeSat 0.25U) intended to reach a quantity of 150 spacecrafts. The company is based in Mountain View, California, USA. Swarm was founded in 2017 and is operating as a wholly owned subsidiary of SpaceX.
In 2018 Swarm launched its first four Pico-satellites on a PSLV rocket operated by ISRO from India.
In 2021 the company was named as one of the ten Hottest Space Companies. Via Satellite’s third annual report of “10 Hottest Companies” represents a broad overview of global startups and legacy companies which are working to revolutionize launch, remote sensing, manufacturing, situational awareness and many other space capabilities.
Swarm Technologies was founded in 2017 by aerospace engineers Sara Spangelo and Ben Longmier, that wanted to create Swarm to provide affordable satellite communications services to people that couldn’t access or afford it. According to research, nearly 90% of the Earth’s surface does not have cell or Wi-Fi connectivity. With 75 billion IoT devices expected to come online by 2025, the areas without Wi-Fi infrastructure will rely on satellite connectivity.
In 2018 Swarm launched its first four Pico-satellites on a PSLV rocket operated by ISRO from India. Swarm became the first ever company that deployed satellites without regulatory FCC approval and got fined for 900,000 USD fort the unauthorized smallsat launch.
By December 2020, the company had orbited 9 test satellites and 36 of the planned 150 LEO satellites, similar to spaceX’ Starlink, to provide communication with IoT devices. The commercial services went live in August 2021 using 72 satellites providing global low-costs data to customers.
|Satellite||Mission||Launch Date||Launcher||Launch Operator|
|SpaceBEE 1-4||CartoSat-2||Jan 12th, 2018||PSLV-XL||ISRO India|
|SpaceBEE 5-7||SSO-A SmallSat||Dec 3rd, 2018||Falcon 9||SpaceX|
|SpaceBEE 8-9||Make-it-Rain||Jun 29th 2019||Electron KS||RocketLab NZ|
|SpaceBEE 10-21||VV16||Sep 3rd, 2020||Vega||Arianespace FG|
|SpaceBEE 22-39||Return-to-Sender||Nov 20th, 2020||Electron||RocketLab NZ|
|SpaceBEE NZ-1 to -6||Return-to-Sender||Nov 20th, 2020||Electron||RocketLab NZ|
|SpaceBEE 40-75||Transporter-1||Jan 24th, 2021||Falcon 9||SpaceX USA|
|SpaceBEE 76-87||PSLV-C51/Amazonia-1||Feb 28th, 2021||PSLV-DL||ISRO India|
|SpaceBEE 88-111||Transporter-2||Jun 30th, 2021||Falcon 9||SpaceX USA|
|SpaceBEE NZ-7 to -10||Transporter-2||Jun 30th, 2021||Falcon 9||SpaceX USA|
|SpaceBEE 112-127||Spaceflight-1||Mar 15th, 2022||Rocket 3.3||Astra Space USA|
|SpaceBEE 128-139||Transporter-4||Apr 1st, 2022||Falcon 9||SpaceX USA|
|SpaceBEE 140-155||There-And-Back-Again||May 2nd, 2022||Electron KS||RocketLab NZ|
|SpaceBEE 156-167||Transporter-6||Jan 3rd, 2023||Falcon 9||SpaceX USA|
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