Client: Spaceport Cornwall Category: Networking Tools Used: Internet and WAN, IT Security, Networks and Data Cabling

Joining the Spaceport Cornwall team

Our strength here at Microcomms lies in our ability to remove the need for multi-vendor complexity and to provide digital transformation services for our clients. We’ve been doing so for our clients for decades. It was announced that Spaceport Cornwall would provide launch services for Virgin Orbit this year. Subsequently, we were quickly brought in as experts in our subject to help remove any unnecessary complexity from the project.

What is Virgin Orbit?

Virgin Orbit seeks to provide accessible and time-flexible launch services for small satellites. It’s a rapidly growing industry that requires a launch service that is both affordable and agile. This is not something that has been available until now. With its LauncherOne system – a rocket that combines proven technology with state-of-the-art manufacturing techniques – Virgin Orbit, in its own words, is set to “propel human curiosity to new heights”, and we are delighted to see it employing Spaceport Cornwall as a base for launch. We are also delighted to have been brought in to help.

Microcomms’ role at Spaceport Cornwall

We were tasked with the provision of a number of key components. This included 10Gb internet speed to link all services locally, as well as some located in the States. We were also commissioned to provide firewall and security, LAN infrastructure and WiFi design and deployment. Virgin Orbit in Long Beach, California will serve Mission Control for launches at Spaceport Cornwall. While our systems provide the ability to link multiple parties and information streams to ensure everything runs smoothly. 

Of course, such a high-profile project comes with its own unique pressures and challenges. Firstly, it’s amazing to be involved on such a prestigious project. However, it is also somewhat daunting that the infrastructure we were providing would be crucial to the launch of satellites. Oh, and subject to a global audience! There are always surprises with technology. Therefore it was essential that the project was approached with our usual attention to detail and with a full understanding of the critical path and risks associated with this kind of job. Fortunately, our people worked tirelessly to ensure that we planned and executed the project effectively. It was also a relief to be dealing with local suppliers. Most of our projects over the course of 2022 have been in the USA or Africa. At times, these have seemed far more complicated and protracted than they needed to be.

The main cause for concern within this project for Spaceport, was to get the internet connections installed in time. Openreach have been great. They provided a really fast turnaround and made the project a great example of what you can achieve with solid planning and close collaboration between the parties involved.

What was unique about the project?

As a case study of the services we provide, there are a many elements within this project that stand out. Timescales are one, in fact we were required to ensure an unusually fast implementation on some of the solutions. Given that it was the first 10Gb connection we have provided, that was a significant pressure. Considering all of the investment Cornwall has received, it’s a great advert for the levels of infrastructure the UK has now. But the biggest stand-out aspect is that commercial space launches will be worth £3.8 billion to the UK economy over the next decade. Plus it’s great to see Virgin Orbit placed in Cornwall and using the Spaceport to deliver what can only be considered the future of technology. 

In comparison to other projects that we’ve worked on, at least here in Cornwall, it’s certainly a prestigious one. It would be up there with those like the Eden Project and Cornwall’s Innovation Centres. But then, Spaceport and Virgin Orbit are part of a very unique market. This makes it difficult to compare it with anything else we’ve done. It will certainly be great to see where it takes us. We’re immensely proud to have helped develop the infrastructure that is going to put Cornwall on the map as the world embarks on a new era of space capabilities.

Get in touch

If you have a project that requires reliable infrastructure and are on the hunt for a team that can implement your needs for you in a timely, efficient and reliable manner, why not get in touch?

Microcomms Success Stories

“It was great to have you and your team on site to install the equipment. You did a great job, both in making everything work, but also in handling a very difficult situation with sense of urgency and reassurance. I am impressed.
Your effort is highly appreciated.

, Reckitt Vienna

“Microcomms provide us with fantastic on-site and remote support. Nothing is ever too much trouble and all issues are dealt with quickly and efficiently. They have provided strategic insight into improving our infrastructure as well as maintaining our provision on a daily basis, always ensuring education and pupil's best interests are at the forefront of all actions.”.

Adam Anderson
Head Teacher, Ludgvan Primary School

“Microcomms epitomizes partnership, collaboration, clarity and support. During our most recent project there were a number of challenges that we needed to overcome in order to deliver our project on time and within budget. Microcomms went above and beyond, expanded their remit and reach for their role of Project Support and Management to assist in finding the best possible solutions and possibilities to ensure our project was delivered. The service and offering was nothing shor”.

Aki Kardamilakis
Head of IT and D, Reckitt South Africa

“Aaron and his associates were wonderful to work with during all phases of opening up our new office! They were informative and took the time to explain how some of the new technology worked (in “layman’s terms”) with patience and hands on demonstrations. The team followed up with notes afterwards and was very thorough and never failed to address any questions or issues we had even after they departed. Super personable as well, they felt like family before they left! Enjoyed working with them! ”.

Jodi Lightner
Office Coordinator, Reckitt Rogers, AR

“We continue to be impressed by Microcomms’ know how, expertise and professional yet down to earth and pragmatic style. Consultancy projects are well managed and I’d recommend their services to anyone.”.

Julian Holmes
IT Manager, Coodes Solicitors

“In our sporting hospitality business, customers expect great WiFi as well as fantastic golf. Microcomms have helped us meet our clients high expectations and ensure that visitors coming to Trevose have an all-round excellent experience. The team have worked really hard across all areas and we’re very happy with the service we’ve had.”.

Nick Gammon
Managing Director, Trevose Golf & Country Club

“There aren’t many Cornwall-based companies that can claim to have hands on experienced providing network connectivity to a Malaysian hut in the middle of a rainforest!”.

Nick Argent
ICT Manager, The Eden Project

Latest News Posts

Get updates