There are still a number of bottlenecks that impact the growth of the NewSpace sector, not least space-to-ground communications systems that are limited in their capacity to transmit ever larger volumes of data from small spacecraft, such as CubeSats. At Seraphim, the world's first and largest venture capital fund dedicated to investing in space start-ups, we are closely monitoring the latest technologies and start-up players that can solve big problems in what we call the 'Downlink' segment of the space value chain.
One of the most well-known space technology centres of excellence globally is The Aerospace Corporation in the U.S. Aerospace's AeroCube-7B and Aerocube-7C CubeSats, successfully transmitted data at a rate of 100 megabits per second which is 50 times greater than typical communication systems for this size spacecraft. No doubt we will see even greater improvement in these data rates in the future, given how fundamental getting usable data back to the ground is for analysis and applications of satellite data.
There are a number of start-ups already addressing the Downlink segment, and we look forward to meeting those entrepreneurs that have the domain expertise, technology advantage and credible plan to execute on this market opportunity.
Space-to-ground optical communications from a free-flying CubeSat has never been done before