Swarm Technologies

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.

Company History

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.

In July 2021 satellite operator and satellite launch company SpaceX acquired Swarm Technologies, and became a direct and wholly owned subsidiary of SpaceX.

SatelliteMissionLaunch DateLauncherLaunch Operator
SpaceBEE 1-4CartoSat-2Jan 12th, 2018PSLV-XLISRO India
SpaceBEE 5-7 SSO-A SmallSatDec 3rd, 2018Falcon 9SpaceX
SpaceBEE 8-9Make-it-RainJun 29th 2019Electron KSRocketLab NZ
SpaceBEE 10-21VV16Sep 3rd, 2020 VegaArianespace FG
SpaceBEE 22-39 Return-to-SenderNov 20th, 2020ElectronRocketLab NZ
SpaceBEE NZ-1 to -6Return-to-SenderNov 20th, 2020ElectronRocketLab NZ
SpaceBEE 40-75 Transporter-1Jan 24th, 2021Falcon 9SpaceX USA
SpaceBEE 76-87PSLV-C51/Amazonia-1 Feb 28th, 2021PSLV-DLISRO India
SpaceBEE 88-111Transporter-2Jun 30th, 2021Falcon 9SpaceX USA
SpaceBEE NZ-7 to -10 Transporter-2Jun 30th, 2021Falcon 9SpaceX USA
SpaceBEE 112-127Spaceflight-1Mar 15th, 2022Rocket 3.3Astra Space USA
SpaceBEE 128-139Transporter-4Apr 1st, 2022Falcon 9SpaceX USA
SpaceBEE 140-155There-And-Back-AgainMay 2nd, 2022Electron KSRocketLab NZ
SpaceBEE 156-167Transporter-6Jan 3rd, 2023Falcon 9SpaceX USA
SpaceBEE 168-179Transporter-8Mar 12th, 2023Falcon 9SpaceX USA

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Resources edition December 20th, 2018  edition August 13th, 2021  edition December 10th, 2021  edition January 3rd, 2023

Satellites manufactured by Swarm Technologies

Swarm SpaceBEE LEO satellite constellation

Satellite fleet by Swarm Technologies

Swarm SpaceBEE LEO satellite constellation