Internet of Things global infrastructure builder Fleet Space Technologies will fire two commercial CubeSats into space, having signed up Rocket Lab for the launch.
Named Proxima I and II, the two identical 1.5U CubeSats will be launched from Rocket Lab's Complex-1 situated on the Māhia Peninsula on the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand in November.
The two CubeSats will be launched aboard the Electron rocket along with other companies' payloads.
CubeSats are miniaturised satellites measuring 100 by 100 by 113.5 millimetres, and with a weight of 1.33 kilograms per single-unit craft. They can be combined into 1.5, double and triple-unit satellites.
Fleet said the two CubeSats form the beginning of a larger constellation of commercial nano-satellites with software-defined radios transmitting in ACMA-licensed S and L-band frequency ranges.
The two experimental CubeSats will test telemetry and tracking as well as command and payload data reception, and to trial long and shortwave frequency transmissions.
Fleet wants to launch more than 100 Centauri nano-satellites for its IoT communications network, with the first to be sent into space by India's Space Research Organisation, and NASA and Elon Musk funded SpaceX later this year.
Chief executive Flavia Tata Nardini said Fleet picked Rocket Lab for the launch because of the latter company's rapid manifesting and integration times.
“We decided to build and launch two more satellites over the past few months and Rocket Lab has moved at the speed of light to incorporate them in this mission, assist us with licensing and complete integration in record time.
We will be in space less than few months after making the decision to join the mission. This rapid turnaround time is what the space industry really needs now," Nardini said.
Australia is part of a worldwide CubeSat research project since 2016 under the auspices of the universities of Sydney, New South Wales and Adelaide respectively, each of which will launch one of the small space craft.
UNSW launched the first CubeSat, the Buccaneer, into orbit in November last year, from the United States Air Force Vanderberg base in California.