An Antwerp-based tech company yesterday sent its new advanced modem into space, headed for the International Space Station (ISS).
The ARGO modem is produced by Antwerp Space, based in the district of Hoboken. It was launched on board an Antares rocket from the NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia in the US.
As well as hardware, the package contains supplies for the ISS crew.
The advanced ARGO modem will allow faster communications between the ISS and Earth, travelling via the European Data Relay Satellite (EDRS) system. Its innovative design “allows an in-flight reconfiguration of the modem and gives a higher flexibility for different communication demands,” the company said. “The modem has been integrated within the MDA Corporation Ka-band Data Relay terminal that will be mounted on the ESA Columbus module of the ISS in April.”
The launch of the modem is the latest breakthrough for the company in its growth as a provider of leading edge satellite communication equipment.
“We look forward to applying this new modem technology on a global scale in the future, addressing the institutional and commercial market”, said Koen Puimège, managing director of the company.
Antwerp Space is a member of the OHB Group, based in Bremen in Germany, specialising in low-orbit and geo-stationary satellite technology. The group was already “involved in assembling and equipping the Columbus research laboratory fitted to the ISS and the ATV space freighter as well as numerous experiment systems used on board the ISS.”