Global continuous coverage
Swarm’s satellites cover the entire planet as the Earth rotates underneath their orbital planes. Once we have launched our full constellation by 2022, Swarm will have at least 3 satellites covering every point on Earth at all times.
How our satellites are different
Uniquely small size
Swarm has the smallest commercially operational satellites in space, at just 1/4U (11 x 11 x 2.8 cm), and flat packs them into a deployer for efficient use of launch volume. Because our satellites only have a mass of 400 grams and fit tightly into the launch vehicles, they cost a fraction of the price to launch compared to most satellites, and we pass these savings along to our customers.
Our satellites have an ultra-sensitive communications payload that is fully integrated into the satellite bus. The satellites also have circularly polarized antennas that are tuned for communications even at the radio horizon.
Just like modern cellphones and laptops, Swarm satellites are built without bulky internal wires and connectors, making surface mount manufacturing on our pick and place machines streamlined and reliable.
We perform many hundreds of tests in our laboratory to design and develop the most capable hardware and software. We also use radiation-tolerant electronics for all of our satellite systems, which increases the satellites’ lifetimes and ensures that they remain at peak performance regardless of orbital altitude and inclination, even when flying through the South Atlantic Anomaly.
Swarm designs and builds all the hardware, software, and protocols for our satellites and user modems. Controlling the manufacturing chain end to end allows us to maintain the highest quality service and devices.
Customer to Satellite
Data flows from the customer device to a Swarm Tile, then to a Swarm satellite using our proprietary protocol which ensures all devices can send their messages in a timely manner. Every hop-level transmission is acknowledged. Each Tile can store 2000 unsent user messages.
Satellite to Ground Station
The Swarm network is a store-and-forward system, and the satellites can store 4000 messages. Satellites transmit the customer messages to Swarm ground stations. As there is usually a station in view, messages can be sent promptly. Each transmission is acknowledged by the ground station for confirmation of receipt.
Ground Station to Customer
Messages are immediately relayed from the Swarm ground stations to the Swarm backend servers through a secure Internet connection. They are then accessible to customers via various access methods, including RESTful API or webhook. The Swarm network is two-way with optional end-to-end AES256-GCM encryption.