The National Center for Research and Development granted funding for the SUBCOM project submitted by Thorium Space, an innovative startup creating innovative solutions for the space industry, and the Łukasiewicz – Institute of Aviation, a Warsaw research institute operating in the aviation and space industry. The consortium will develop communications and navigation systems for space and rocket applications. The culmination of the work will be the placement of a mini-constellation of three satellites in the cubesat standard equipped with retransmission modules on the low Earth orbit (LEO).

• The value of the SUBCOM project is PLN 47 million, and the funding from the National Center for Research and Development is PLN 38.7 million

• The project will develop an independent communications and navigation system for space and rocket applications

• Thorium Space is developing SUBCOM in a consortium with Łukasiewicz – Institute of Aviation

– We are pleased to announce that we are starting the SUBCOM project, through which we want to introduce new, innovative communication systems to the global market. The target groups will be manufacturers of satellite platforms, suborbital rockets, small orbital rockets (the so-called micro launchers, i.e. rockets capable of delivering payloads up to 500 kg into orbit) and military rockets. – informs Paweł Rymaszewski, president of the board of Thorium Space.

The goals of the project will be achieved through research and development works and the production of prototypes and their verification in laboratory conditions – this will include, i.a., qualification of the equipment being developed in the environmental laboratories of Łukasiewicz – Institute of Aviation. Then, the integration of these systems and functional tests will be carried out, completed with a low-altitude flight test. At the same time, works related to the adaptation of the satellite platform available to Thorium Space and its integration with the payload developed as part of the project will be carried out.

Synergy of science and industry

– The SUBCOM project will allow for testing new space and rocket technologies. For this purpose, the ILR-33 AMBER 2K suborbital rocket, developed at the Łukasiewicz Institute of Aviation, will be used. The rocket will enable scientific research – it will include atmospheric probing, astronomical observations above the atmosphere and microgravity studies. Thanks to the hybrid rocket propulsion system, using highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide, the rocket is environmentally friendly and enables flexible mission planning not available for traditional suborbital rockets. – explains Dr. Paweł Stężycki, director of the Łukasiewicz – Institute of Aviation.

SUBCOM will also meet industrial needs by demonstrating and validating the technology in flight. Thanks to flight tests, the developed missile and satellite communication systems will reach at least level VII of technological readiness (TRL 7).

– The final test for the designed devices will be the flying campaign on board the ILR-33 AMBER 2K suborbital rocket developed by Łukasiewicz – Institute of Aviation, during which the ground-rocket-satellite communication systems and inertial-radar navigation system will be tested. The rocket will be adapted to the requirements of, i.a., power systems, on-board computer and structure. I mean the possibility of verifying the communication systems developed as part of the project. – adds Paweł Rymaszewski.

The implementation of the project will enable offering new, innovative communication systems on the global market.

SUBCOM consortium members: innovation and experience

Thorium Space is also working on an innovative 5G station. In April this year, the project received nearly PLN 10 million in funding from the National Center for Research and Development.

In June 2021, Thorium Space was included in the list of the most innovative space startups, selected from over 2,000 companies from all over the world. It is the only company on the list that deals with communications (Advance Space Communication).

The participation of the Łukasiewicz – Institute of Aviation in the SUBCOM project is another example of the practical use of the space technologies under development. The Institute is developing cooperation with the European Space Agency – so far it has participated in 20 ESA projects in the field of space propulsion and rocket technologies, being a leader in 14 of them. In recent years, also 3 projects in this area have been implemented under the programs of the European Commission. The Institute took part in 4 projects on satellite and rocket propulsion financed by the National Center for Research and Development. Close cooperation with the industry is aimed at implementing the results of R&D works in the form of technologies and products on the domestic and European space market.

About the project

The total value of the SUBCOM project is over PLN 47 million, of which PLN 38.7 million was granted. SUBCOM will be established in the Thorium Space consortium with Łukasiewicz – Institute of Aviation.

The project will be implemented within the funds provided for co-financing projects in the competition 3 / 1.1.1 / 2020 under Measure 1.1 “R&D projects of enterprises”, Sub-measure 1.1.1 “Industrial research and development works carried out by enterprises”.


Thorium Space Sp. z o.o. was established in 2017. The founder and president of the company is Paweł Rymaszewski – an expert in the space and defense industry with 20 years of experience. The company is made up of an interdisciplinary team of space technology engineers and specialists in related fields. Thorium Space deals with the design and construction of innovative telecommunications systems for unique transmit-receive bands, enabling electronic beam control and faster data transmission.

In 2020, the company was awarded the title of the Eagle of Innovation of the Rzeczpospolita daily in the category – Best technological solution – project. In June this year, Thorium Space was included in the list of the most innovative space start-ups in 2021, according to the StartUs insights study:

The Łukasiewicz Research Network – Institute of Aviation is one of the most modern research institutions in Europe, with traditions dating back to 1926. The Institute closely cooperates with global giants of the aviation industry, such as GE, Airbus, Leonardo, Lockheed Martin or Ariane Gorup, as well as with institutions from the aviation and space industry, including the European Space Agency. The strategic research areas of the Institute are aviation, space and unmanned technologies.  It also provides research and services for domestic and foreign industries in the field of material, composite, additive, remote sensing and many other technologies. In the field of space technologies, the Institute specializes in satellite propulsion, rocket systems, avionics, environmental research and satellite remote sensing.

The Łukasiewicz Research Network provides attractive, complete and competitive technological solutions. It offers a unique system of “challenging” to business, thanks to which a group of 4,500 scientists in no more than 15 working days accepts the business challenge and proposes the entrepreneur to develop an effective implementation solution. At the same time, it involves the highest competences of scientists in Poland and a scientific apparatus unique in Poland. What is most important – the entrepreneur does not bear any costs related to the development of an idea for research work. Łukasiewicz meets the expectations of business in a convenient way. The entrepreneur may decide to contact us not only through the form at but also in more than 50 locations: the Łukasiewicz Institutes and their branches throughout Poland. They will receive the same – high quality – product or service everywhere. The Łukasiewicz potential is focused around such research areas as: health, intelligent mobility, digital transformation and sustainable economy and energy.

Spread the love