Swarm Wants to Send Hundreds of Tiny CubeSats Into Orbit

  • January 3, 2019
    Illustration from FCC filing showing Swarm’s proposed 150-satellite constellation.
    Illustration: Swarm Technologies/FCC
    Swarm’s recent FCC filing includes an illustration showing Swarm’s proposed 150-satellite constellation.

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    A day after being whacked with a $900,000 FCC fine for launching four tiny CubeSats without permission, Silicon Valley start-up Swarm Technologies sought permission for dozens more of its controversial small satellites, according to documents obtained by IEEE Spectrum

    Swarm wants to create an orbital network of miniature satellites that will offer a global Internet of Things communication service at a fraction of the price of existing systems.

    “Swarm will offer two-way communications services to allow end users to send and receive data anywhere in the world,” reads its latest FCC application. “The Swarm constellation will be deployed rapidly, and begin to offer commercial services even prior to full deployment of the constellation.”

    Swarm told the FCC that it could start launching its innovative satellites, which measure less 3 centimeters on their smallest edge and weigh about the same as a can of soup, as soon as March 1. It hopes to have a full constellation of 150 operating in low earth orbit by the end of 2019.

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