A steady expansion of tourism, resource exploration, shipping, and scientific research within the Arctic and on Antarctica has increased the demand for reliable and affordable polar connectivity. Since fiber cables and cell towers are not an option, and GEO satellites fall behind in terms of service quality, availability, and competitive pricing, LEO nanosatellites might seem the best alternative to connect the Earth’s poles.
Kepler has been awarded the 5th In-Orbit Demonstration Mission (IOD 5) by the Satellite Applications Catapult, a UK space innovation company, to develop its third and last demonstration satellite. This satellite will form a service demonstration for Kepler's Global Data Service, a pole-to-pole wideband satellite communications service, while also providing a demonstration platform for the company's IoT offering. The satellite is planned to launch in the latter half of 2019.