QuadSAT has announced its collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA) to develop its unmanned aerial system (UAS) testing solution to comply with industry-wide antenna performance protocol, SOMAP (Satellite Operators’ Minimum Antenna Performance requirements) and the type approval test requirements for other satellite operators.

QuadSAT, with technical support from GVF and the Danish Technological Institute, is to establish that its UAS testing capabilities can deliver SOMAP type-approvals for the satellite communications industry. QuadSAT uses drone technology to test and calibrate satellite and VSAT antennas autonomously, mimicking an orbiting satellite that can simulate a ship or aircraft’s motion. This method enables highly accurate testing while drastically reducing downtime.

The development of SOMAP recommendations has been referenced in previous ESA projects. GVF, through the Mutual Recognition Working Group (MRA-WG), has been pivotal in defining the framework, which is mutually recognised across the satellite industry. The SOMAP framework establishes the minimum performance recommendations for satellite service providers and serves as a complement to the formal SOMAP recommendations.

Joakim Espeland, CEO, QuadSAT, commented: “We’re delighted to be collaborating with GVF and the Danish Technological Institute to implement testing for our project with ESA. As proven by its past projects, ESA’s ethos is based around promoting the use of high-quality, industry-compliant technologies to ensure that the industry works effectively and harmoniously. By providing and expanded test capability for demonstrating compliance with SOMAP recommendations and other satellite service provider requirements, our UAS technology will be able to offer operators a highly accurate and effective form of testing.  This will result in savings of both time and money for qualifying new satellite communications products. QuadSAT is moving into an exciting period of development.”

The news follows QuadSAT securing £700,000 seed funding in January 2019 via Danish Growth Fund, Vaekstfonden and specialist space-tech venture fund, Seraphim Capital.