Kepler Communications recently became Canada’s largest satellite operator. (Image: Kepler Communications)
Kepler Communications, a satellite communications startup founded by EngSci and UTIAS alumni, has received $3.8 million of federal funding to create a nanosatellite manufacturing facility, according to the Toronto Star.
After the recent launch of two new satellites, the company became Canada’s largest satellite operator with 15 satellites in orbit.
Kepler was co-founded by EngSci alumni Wen Cheng Chong (EngSci 1T3), Mark Michael (EngSci 1T2, MASc MIE 1T4, PhD 1T6), and Mina Mitry (EngSci 1T2, AeroE MASc 1T4), and UTIAS graduate Jeffrey Osborne (AeroE PhD 1T6).
The team first met as students when all four were part the U of T Aerospace Team (UTAT), a student-led design team with focuses on rocketry and satellites. Their startup was supported by U of T Engineering’s Entrepreneurship Hatchery and Start@UTIAS, and aims to build a global satellite network.
The rocket bearing Kepler Communications’ satellite, Long March 11 launching on January 19th at 12:11PM BST marking the 100th successful launch from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in China. (Courtesy: Kepler Communications)
A team of U of T Engineering alumni including several EngSci graduates has taken the first step to creating a new global communications network. Kepler Communications, co-founded by Mina Mitry (EngSci 1T2, AeroE MASc 1T4) and Wen Cheng Chong (EngSci 1T3), launched their first breadbox-sized communications satellite into orbit on Jan. 19. It is the first of what they hope will be a constellation of dozens of similar satellites providing vast data transmission for the Internet of Things–the millions of interconnected devices here on Earth.
It’s an impressive development for a company that had its start at U of T Engineering just a few years ago, when Mitry and Chong were still students. “It was at EngSci that I got meet my like-minded and driven co-founders,” says Mitry. “We worked exceptionally well together then and it carried through in our work today.”
The nanosatellites developed by the team could soon provide real-time communication for large amounts of data in remote location. This could have applications for tracking of shipping containers, remote sensing of seismic monitors, and giving communities in isolated locations high-speed access to the web.