Hubble Network Beats the Doubters, Makes Its First Earth-to-Space Bluetooth Satellite Connection

No longer limited to short-range terrestrial communications, Bluetooth can be used as a low-power connection to orbiting satellites.

Hubble Network has successfully proven the core concept on which the company was founded: that a Bluetooth connection, typically thought of as exclusively for short-range wireless connectivity, can be made between a device on Earth and an orbiting satellite.

"We've disproved thousands of skeptics," claims Hubble Network co-founder and chief executive officer Alex Haro of his company's milestone achievement. "By showcasing that we can send signals directly from Bluetooth chips and receive them in space 600km [around 370 miles] away, we've opened a new realm of possibilities."

Following its $20m Series A funding round in 2023, Hubble Network has been quietly working towards its most recent milestone. In early March this year it launched its first two satellites from the Vandenberg Space Force Base, to serve as a proof-of-concept test-bed for its core proposal: to use ground-to-space Bluetooth links for energy-efficient Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity.

"Our innovative approach allows existing Bluetooth-enabled devices to be retrofitted to transmit data to the Hubble Network without any hardware modifications," explains co-founder and chief technology officer, "ushering in a new era of connectivity."

According to Hubble Network's internal testing, a device communicating with its satellites using Bluetooth could draw one-twentieth of the power of a similar cellular-based device β€” and be used at one-fiftieth the operating costs. This, too, using existing Bluetooth hardware, with no need to replace existing radio modules.

Two satellites, granted, is a somewhat limited constellation. Following its first successful Earth-to-space Bluetooth link, the company has stated that it will focus on increasing the number of satellites in orbit in order to boost capacity and increase coverage β€” and has opened a waitlist for those interested in experimenting with its official developer's kit.

More information is available on the Hubble Network website.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire:
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