Finland-based company ReOrbit has signed a deal with space technology and services company VENG to develop next-generation earth observation satellites.

The National Commission for Space Activities of Argentina (CONAE) is the main stakeholder of VENG.

Since the beginning of its commercial activities in 2007, VENG has participated in strategic projects of the Argentine National Space Plan. These comprise the development of launch vehicle prototypes for access to space and the integration and testing of satellite components, which include the radar antennas of the Argentinian SAOCOM satellites.

VENG also has the exclusive worldwide representation of CONAE’s SAOCOM mission products in the market of satellite information for earth observation.

The project is a strategically important milestone, marking the first collaboration in the space domain between Finland and Argentina.

ReOrbit will provide the satellite bus, and both companies will work together to develop the payload subsystem with a plan to do manufacturing, integration and testing at the facilities in Cordoba, owned by CONAE and operated by VENG.

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For this project, ReOrbit will use Gluon, a software-defined satellite platform capable to accommodate different types of payloads from remote sensing to optical communication inter-satellite links.

The deal was signed at the recent LAAD defence exhibition and conference in South America, in the presence of Nicola Lindertz, Finland’s ambassador to Argentina; Esa Pulkkinen, Permanent Secretary at Finland’s Ministry of Defence; and Daniel Filmus, Argentina’s Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation.

Defence use of space technology

In recent years, the growth of the global space sector and increased competitiveness has seen militaries increasingly use private sector and commercial space-based capabilities for uses in areas such as Earth observation, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) operations.

According to GlobalData’s 2021-2031 military satellite sector analysis, the global market was valued at $9.4bn in 2021 and is projected to reach $13.7bn by 2031, registering a compound annual growth rate of 3.76%. The market was cumulatively valued at $104.5bn over the reporting period, totalling business potential across communications, ISR, navigation, and meteorology.

Of this, the ISR segment was forecast to be the strongest, accounting for 51% of the market, followed by communications with a 30.9% share.