The 2021 Roundup
Expanding station network, initiating development of Ephemeris Protocol, and some major events on the horizon.
It was an eventful year with lots of work behind the scenes — the way it’s meant to be at our current stage of development. But if we do a roundup of 2021, all the indicators for something amazing coming up are there. Let’s dive right into it.
Product Development | HomePort
Most of our resources have been dedicated to building the Beta for HomePort, our decentralized ground station platform. The Beta is a less capable platform than the production version scheduled to launch sometime after mid-2022, but nonetheless fully capable of carrying commercial Earth Observation data from downlink to end users.
An initial test segment consisting of 11 ground stations has been put in place for the Beta launch, most situated in Europe, with some in North America and Africa. This network can support the “gold standard” for Earth Observation satellite downlink between 8000 and 8400 MHz, as well as VHF (136–152 Mhz), amateur UHF (430–440 MHz) and S-band ranges frequently used in Low Earth Orbit satellite communication.
The platform is in final stages of development and we are about to initiate preliminary tests to communicate with satellites operated by several partner space agencies and private companies. An aggressive station expansion schedule is set for 2022 and 2023. We’re on track to achieve our goal of 30+ stations available through HomePort UI or API by the end of next year.
Product Development | Ephemeris Protocol
In a significant development, we began working on our own protocol, Ephemeris, to support a future ecosystem initially based around satellite data, and later branching out into several other sectors of the space industry.
While DeFi, the Metaverse, NFTs and GameFi have been all the rage throughout the year, we’ve opted to work on developing practical use cases and providing long-term, real-world utility of our token.
The purpose of Ephemeris is to create a truly decentralized global satellite data infrastructure, and to allow a much broader range of stakeholders to support and utilize this infrastructure.
Got a ground station? Great, with HomePort you can directly lease it to a space company and generate revenue as satellites fly above it and send data. Ephemeris will make sure your station is part of a broader ecosystem. Got idle storage or computing power? Perfect, Ephemeris will ensure that they can be integrated to crunch satellite data received by your station into a meaningful product. You’ll be contributing to a democratic, decentralized space industry.
Partnerships | Polygon
We have established a collaboration with Polygon on tackling key operational and scaling issues of HomePort and Ephemeris. We have already migrated our basic HomePort smart contract from Aeternity to Polygon, and HomePort Beta will operate using MATIC and an oracle provider which is to be disclosed. On top of this, we’re working to create a cutting-edge DeFi and space fusion within Polygon’s ecosystem.
Partnerships | Hypersign
Trust is impossible without a reliable identity system, and what could be better than a decentralized identity architecture? We’ve joined forces with Hypersign’s awesome team to solve some of the most persisting and tricky issues of space services — trusting the counterparty, access control to sensitive assets and data, and many others, within the HomePort platform.
Traction | Space
It has been an eventful year on the space front. Apart from existing partnerships with three space agencies and several private ground segment providers, we’ve initiated the process of working with more than 25 space agencies, NewSpace companies and organizations as either partners or clients for the future full-scale version of HomePort. Keep your eyes open for some interesting announcements in the new year…
Events | Space Tech Expo Bremen
We spent almost a week in Bremen in November where the most cutting-edge innovation in the space industry was showcased as part of Space Tech Expo 2021. We established a number of new contacts in the industry, found some common ground with several enterprises, and initiated lots of behind-the-scenes processes that will bear fruit in 2022.
Events | TechCrunch Sessions Space 2021
We will have our own virtual booth at TechCrunch Sessions Space. HomePort will be a central part of our exhibit, but we’ll open the door to Ephemeris and how we plan to revolutionize the space industry through blockchain as well. TechCrunch Sessions Space will take place on 14–16 December.
To increase our footprint and industry interaction opportunities, we have renewed our membership in the Access Space Alliance; joined the European Association of Remote Sensing Companies (EARSC), one of the largest assemblies of space and data companies focused on Earth Observation; became members of SatSearch, the largest marketplace for space goods and services; and joined the Edge Computing in Space Alliance (ECSA), where we’ll explore opportunities to deploy data processing capabilities in orbit.
The year has seen us lay the foundations of something radically new in the space industry. Much of our focus has been on purely technical solutions, but as the new year comes, we’ll be revealing the true extent of our efforts — and how they can enable a new world based on space data, decentralized infrastructures, and mass participation in the space economy.