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An IoT newcomer from Italy

Apogeo made it recently to the radar screens with the annoucement of an agreement with Momentus to launch X satellites. Apogeo plans to have a constellation of 100 satellites in orbit in the future but will start offering a more limited service before end of 2023. The company is specialized in tiny satllites – pico satellites that are used to receive data from IoT VHF transmitters. The company plans to use Lora modulation.

More information can be seen here:

The design of the Apogeo project is very similar to Swarm: very small and inexpensive satellites in the VHF band. As the satellites are uncontrolled, a large number is necessary to provide a usable quality of service. For example, Swarm has launched more than 150 satellites so far.

This design has the benefit of simplicity and to be very low cost but it raises some additional questions. What is the satellite lifetime and how is the geometry of the constellation degrading: this impacts how often new satellites need to be launched. In addition the VHF frequency is probably not optimal both from a device perspective (think about antenna size) and for the link budget.

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