In a letter to shareholders, founder and chief executive Meir Moalem said SAS had been putting the foundations necessary to become a successful business.
“As the space sector becomes more and more appealing to companies, I am proud that Sky and Space Global is at the forefront of the new global commercial space industry,” he said.
“We are doing things that no one else has done before and have progressed at a very rapid pace over the past few months. The foundations we have now put in place, and are putting the final touches on, will ultimately make Sky and Space Global a dominant player in the space market with a strong and attractive global business.”
Moalem said SAS’ planned new global coverage had rapidly increased the potential revenue opportunities.
“We are progressing to launch in 2020, and to providing commercial satellite communication services and generating revenues,” he said.
SAS, based in Perth, is planning what it calls the Pearls constellation of as many as 200 nanosatellites in equatorial orbit, providing low cost communications, data and internet services for markets in Africa, South America and Asia.
Under the 6U agreement with GomSpace, there will be an additional constellation high inclination orbits, allowing full global coverage, including Australia, Russia, China, South Africa, Argentina and Canada.
The first launch is planned for early next year.
SAS has faced its share of challenges, including cash flow problems and loss of two board members, who are still to be replaced.
Moalem said the recent company news had unfortunately not focused on their significant technological achievements.
That included development of an algorithm to enable SAS nanosatellites to autonomously manoeuvre by sharing information and making group decisions to keep the constellation up and running and avoid collisions with other space objects.
SAS has also identified two manufacturing candidates to build of ground terminals, providing connectivity for end users.
Moalem said these terminals would meet their stringent requirements for enduring harsh environmental conditions, low power consumption, lightweight and portable, as well as safety and security.
“Necessity is the mother of invention, and our software company in Poland is proving this every day,” he said.
“Our requirement for a very efficient communication system has resulted in advanced algorithms for data compression and transfer that are at the forefront of technology and current capabilities, and we continue to challenge ourselves even further.”
Moalem said negotiations in the US for financing for launch were progressing and were at an advanced stage.
As well, SAS has substantially reduced operating costs, saving $2 million per year. Company founders and directors took a 50 per cent pay cut to set a personal example and invested $300,000 of their own funds in the company.
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