Developing Niche Satellite Applications 

As the satellite industry develops, there are increasing numbers of potential applications for the technology. On The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast we were joined by Kevin Fielder, who is the VP of Sales for the global cruise and ferries market at Anuvu. Kevin shared the work that Anuvu are doing to bring satellite connectivity to the luxury travel market. Here are his insights: 

You work in a very interesting niche in the SATCOM world with a focus on the cruise and ferry market. What seems to be the most interesting aspect of the market right now?

The pandemic – which really disrupted the industry from a force majeure perspective, and squeezed disposable income so that people were not able to travel as much – obviously had a detrimental impact on any kind of disposable spending market. It really hamstrung the industry. Coming out of it, however, there was a new technology from our friends at SpaceX that completely disrupted the market. When I say disrupted, it’s not a bad connotation, I just mean that it has changed the market. 

As people came out of their homes after COVID they were attached to a very fast, high speed internet connection with low latency. Coming back aboard cruise lines, the expectation was that they would have the same experience. It just so happened that at the same point in time we gained the technology that gave them the ability to do that. That situation meant that something that might have had a slow adoption process got ramped up really fast, based upon people’s appetite for that type of technology. This is the experience that people have wanted to have in the cruise environment for years, and now we’ve given them the best of the best available connectivity out on open water. 

Those two things – one being a bad experience for everybody from a health perspective, and the other being a transformative technology that came into play quickly at the same time – have really changed the cruise market for the better. 

What are you most excited or concerned about in relation to this industry?

The markets have been clamouring for LEO (low earth orbit) connectivity options. Starlink jumped to the forefront of delivery on that, and OneWeb is out in the market as well. Amazon is doing their groundwork to get their first satellites up at the moment too. There are plenty of smaller companies who aren’t publicising the fact that they’re launching LEO satellite capabilities for things like IOT and cell service, but they’re in the market too. I think you’re going to see more and more of that in the very near future, because it can reach so many more people than the traditional model. 

There’s a tendency to think that once LEO comes about, the geostationary satellite service will go away, but there’s still a need for it, and maybe a different way of consuming it. That may mean configuring it as a failsafe, because it has much higher latency, but it’s still a good quality product available just about anywhere globally. In addition, there are some models that are consumption based. If you don’t want to consume as much data, you may put some non latency tolerant traffic over those. If you’re going to be paying for it anyway, you might as well utilise it. If I sent you an email, you really don’t care if it arrives now or 30 seconds from now, so why would I use a low latency service at a higher price? Save that capability for a passenger who needs it for streaming.

To learn more about using satellite infrastructure for innovative solutions, tune into episode 28 of The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast here. 

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Harnessing Satellite Intelligence

As satellite technology develops, we are seeing a huge change in the way that we use the data and intelligence it provides. On Episode 26 of The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast we spoke to Kateryna Aheieva, the Head of Business Development at LuxSpace, about how these applications are being developed and the impact they could have on the wider world. Here are her insights: 

Satellite intelligence is becoming a hot topic. Every single day I see more and more companies discussing it. In my previous jobs, the main business was taking pictures from space and selling that data and value-added information to customers from that. Talking to clients and partners, we realised that the requirements on data are actually quite high. It’s not only about the resolution or the quality, but also about the amount of data that can be provided from the space system to the end user that is important. If you want to create a value added service, you have to utilise a lot of data points and have a powerful source of information. So the satellite or the space system itself should be very powerful. 

Constellations were having to get much bigger in order to perform. At LuxSpace, we’re building satellite platforms in the 50-250 kilogramme class, which is a completely different system. It’s a very capable platform for certain applications with very high resolution imagery for agriculture, thermal imagery, etc, which results in high density and very good quality data. Because the space world is occupied by engineers, we are often building systems that there isn’t currently demand for, just because we can push that boundary. So we have a lot of systems built, but not all of them are utilised in the proper way or maybe at the maximum capacity. So I truly believe that space systems could have a better use when they get more intelligent. 

There is a huge opportunity to utilise this intelligence from satellites. When multiple systems or subsystems are taking pictures and sending them to the ground station, when the space system has a diverse list of tasks, when you need less operational capability on the ground to perform that task, and when the space system itself is capable of making some decisions, and analysis to decrease the amount of work that needs to be done on the ground, it will be huge. The system itself is becoming more capable too. Intelligence is coming. 

And a couple of companies around the world are working in that direction. They have onboard computing capabilities, not only for close Earth spaces like low earth orbit, but even higher orbit and also interplanetary missions which could satisfy the needs of the system that is flying far away from Earth and has to be independent and tasking itself. We also see the potential in this market, and the contributions we can make to society by moving the direction of space intelligence instead of bringing the capacity of objects up to a certain level, because applications like communication from space or the internet from space still require certain coverage, but some applications, especially institutional technology demonstration, can be made more smart. 

To hear more from Kateryna, tune into Episode 26 of The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

How Can the Satellite and NewSpace Industry Engaged With External Talent?

At neuco, we’re experts at sourcing talent for the Satellite & NewSpace industry. We recently spoke to Tamara Bond Williams, the Director of Engagement at Space and Satellite Professionals International, on Episode 24 of The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast about how the industry can attract talent from other sectors to improve the diversity of skills within it. Tamara works to expand and enhance the professional lives of SSPI members, giving her valuable insights into the working lives of those within the Satellite & NewSpace industry. Read on for her insights on the topic. 

How have things changed around attracting people from outside STEM into the Satellite industry?

I think the only big change that I can really speak to is the awareness. There have always been people in the industry who came from outside of STEM. That has been true the entire time, but we are becoming increasingly aware of that fact. This is largely because of the rate of expansion in our industry, the number of startup companies and the way that legacy companies are diversifying how they engage. There’s just so much happening, and it puts pressure on the industry to think about ‘Where’s all this talent coming from to manage all this expansion?’ We’re now looking at it, not because it’s new, but because we now have competitive pressure to meet a need.

What other industries could people enter the satellite industry from?

There are several. For example, there is a specific investment community that has specialised in investing in space and satellite. We have insurance companies that are specialised in the same way. We have legal companies that do space law. There are so many companies that already exist whose niches fit our industry. The question is not ‘Are they out there?’ The question is, ‘Have we done enough to promote participation in the space industry itself?’ 

We should be saying ‘Hey, we’re going to the moon again. Where can you fit in?’. We need to advertise the career paths around lunar exploration. Our conversations should be around ‘We need more colloquiums around the legal ramifications of going to space. What are the international ramifications? What is the investment opportunity?’ We haven’t explored the opportunities enough, and we haven’t yet communicated outside of our bubble that there are plenty of opportunities here and that we want people to be a part of them.

What can companies do to proactively find talent outside the industry?

I think that companies need to be having the conversation themselves. SSPI is working to expand that conversation through our various webinars and roundtables. We had this conversation recently to talk about the idea of what I called ‘outside in’. That means people who are outside companies themselves need to be proactive to have the conversation. 

One of the things that would be super beneficial is for them to create a path. Let’s say ‘If you have these skills, here’s how it maps to what we need in our company, this is how you get in and this would be your growth opportunity’. It’s all about giving people who are outside the industry a clear view of how they can get into it. If companies don’t know where those paths are, they can work with a recruitment company to articulate those pathways. You’ve got to do the groundwork of figuring out where people with these skills fit in, and then find ways to keep that talent once you’ve attracted it. 

To hear more from Tamara, tune into Episode 24 of The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

The Evolution of Satellite & NewSpace Technology 

The Satellite & NewSpace industry is constantly evolving. On Episode 21 of The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast we sat down with Lindsey Kemp, who is the Director of Global Markets at Communications & Power Industries (CPI), to discuss her perspectives on these evolutions. Lindsey has been in the SATCOM industry for 15 years, and is currently responsible for global business development of CPI’s antenna and power electronics unit, which plays a key role in shaping innovation and exploring future technologies for the company. Read on to find out what she had to say. 

The satellite space industry has been continuously evolving evidence creation. How is the ground sat market adapting to those new pressures? 

We’re doing some new developments in terms of both amplifiers and antenna systems. It’s critical that we develop the design for manufacturing in a repeatable way, because we have to meet really aggressive timelines at the factory. We’re currently seeing some of these new product launches being very successful. It’s hard, because while we’re incorporating those manufacturing improvements, there are a lot of new things that we didn’t have to accommodate before, but we’re going to have to accommodate for now. It’s to our benefit that we have so much experience, both in terms of where we started and how we’ve been evolving along the way, because that’s prepared us for these complicated considerations and higher volume demands. 

Where do you think some of these developments could have come from?

We’ve been bringing people in from other industries. We have a new operations manager who is from the automobile industry – there’s quite a few people that we have brought in from there. That’s critical because we need to challenge what we’ve been traditionally used to, and be open to new things that we never thought could potentially be possible to get out of our comfort zone. Bringing things in from outside of industry, such as people who have experienced business elsewhere, is going to bring a totally different perspective to our company. What we’re doing is trying to push everything forward. 

What is the biggest development that we still need to successfully cater to new NDSI platforms?

There’s a lot of offerings at K band for LEO and MEO trackers and amplifiers. The ground infrastructure is there already. I think the big one in the future is going to be supporting the V band. There are some challenges that we need to face, but the great thing is that our company is building both travelling wave tube amplifiers and solid state amplifiers. We have the ability to be agnostic when we go into these situations and see that this one makes sense for this application. One of the big drivers for that scalability is the need for solid state amplifiers to support those deployments. That’s something that is going to be really important for us to stay on top of and make sure that we’re looking to the future to be able to support that when that’s ready, because that’s a whole new ballgame in terms of that technology.

To learn more about evolving technology in the industry, tune into The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

How the NewSpace Industry is Developing

The NewSpace industry is rapidly growing. To unpack the changes going on in the industry we spoke to Harriet Brettle, the Head of Market Analysis and Business Intelligence at the European Space Agency, on Episode 19 of The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast. Harriet is responsible for the analysis of markets relevant to the satellite communications and space solutions markets, giving her some excellent insights into the way the industry is developing. Here’s what she said: 

Is there anything that’s particularly exciting you about the industry at the moment? 

One of the things I really enjoy about working at the European Space Agency is the breadth of opportunities I have to look at within the space sector. One day I might be looking at understanding the potential of optical communications and how that can transform the satellite industry. The next day, I could be looking at how we can use satellite communication for disaster responses. The day after that I could be considering a completely different question that we haven’t even thought about. The variety of areas that we work with is what really hits home. For me that’s the role that space plays in everyday life. Our industry isn’t sitting in isolation, it’s incredibly connected to and impactful for the rest of the world. I’m excited to be working in the satellite communications area. Understanding the role that satellite communications plays is something I really enjoy. 

What are you most excited to see in the future of the satellite industry? 

Change is the only certain thing, right? That couldn’t be more true for the SATCOM sector at the moment. We’re seeing huge market changes. We’re also seeing how satellite operators and the space industry are reacting to all of that market change too. I don’t want to predict the future because we’re always wrong in some way, but I’m really excited to see how things are going to play out. We’re in a very disruptive, exciting time for SATCOM so I’m looking forward to seeing the innovative ways that new and existing players are going to take on those new challenges.

Do you think there is enough demand to sustain all of the players currently looking to enter the market? 

We’re seeing a whole host of new actors come in and disrupt the market. They also say history repeats itself, right? This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a wave of satellite constellations come onto the market, but I think it is different this time. There are a few things that are driving that. One is timing. In terms of where the smallsat technology is now, we’re now seeing launches at a cadence we couldn’t have even imagined just a few years ago. The scale at which we’re able to deploy satellites and the amount of funding that is going into the space sector is phenomenal. 

It’s not just the amount of funding that’s going into particular companies. Jeff Bezos has said publicly that he’s planning to sell a billion dollars of Amazon stock every year to fund Amazon’s project Kuiperthe, which is a great example. That’s the kind of funding that most startups could only dream of. There’s a huge amount of focus on Starlink, but we’re still to see those business cases close. It’s one thing to get the constellation up in orbit, it’s another thing to be able to sell those services at a price point customers are willing to pay. 

We’re also seeing projections for huge increases in the demand for data going forward. From the new conversations around LEO we’re also expecting to see a huge influx in capacity and supply coming onto the market as well. Satellite operators are able to charge to realise that opportunity. I don’t think it’s a slam dunk, but I think we’re seeing a huge amount of progress from a number of different operators, which is very exciting.

To learn more about the state of the NewSpace industry, tune into Episode 19 of The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Inside Space Congestion Solutions

As the NewSpace industry grows, so does the amount of debris surrounding the planet. On The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast we were delighted to be joined today by Siamak Hesar, the Co-Founder and CEO of Kayhan Space. Siamak has a PhD in aerospace engineering and extensive expertise in astrodynamic and operational flight dynamic fields. His company’s purpose is to create a next generation autonomous spaceflight capability with the mission of making space safer. We asked Siamak about how Kayhan Space is contributing to the challenges of space congestion and how that informed the creation of his company. Here’s what he said:

If you’re alluding to space congestion and space debris, it’s a very big problem. There are multiple aspects for me when we talk about solutions. To give you some context in terms of how the industry is growing – since the dawn of the space age, humanity as a whole has launched around 11,000 satellites into orbit. That has directly resulted in over a million pieces of debris and artificially generated micro meteorites. That’s made up of all the extra stuff that gets thrown out of satellites and collision debris. That is obviously a big problem, but we are not stopping there. 

One exciting aspect of this industry is that we are growing so fast. I have no issue with that growth, but we do need to be mindful of the fact that that growth needs to be accompanied by the right processes and capabilities to support it so that growth is done safely. In the next decade alone there are different estimates and forecasts which predict that we are going to send around 100,000 satellites into orbit. That’s 10 times more satellites in just one decade than everything that we have done in space so far. That creates a big challenge. 

There are different aspects of addressing this problem. The analogy that I always use is that when it comes to space traffic management, we are in the same boat as air traffic control, where initially there were midair collisions that resulted in people sitting down and thinking about the creation of a traffic control system. The reason that the air travel industry is at this scale right now is because back then we decided as a society that we needed regulations and processes that allowed the industry to scale safely. We are in the same situation right now in the space industry. 

In terms of Kayhan’s offering, we are a technology company, so our role is to provide technical solutions or technology that can help the industry scale safely. We do that by automating the processes that satellite operators can use to fly safely and coordinate with each other. 

To learn more about Siamak’s career and experiences, tune into Episode 18 of The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

WSBW Summary Blog

So, another fantastic WSBW Summit has been and gone and the neuco Executive Search team have finally been able to find the time to debrief on what was an incredible show. It was another sold-out event and there was a palpable buzz around the Westin with a huge number of topics taking centre stage at the summit, both on the panels and in the hallways and meeting rooms dotted around the venue.

We’ve summarised a few of the key talking points from the event below.

Direct to Device:

Unsurprisingly, direct to device solutions were the hot topic of discussion throughout the show. While it seems universally agreed by most in the industry that there certainly is a market, there seems to be little consensus on just how big that market will be and just how long it will take to realise the potential of these services.

Where’s the money?:

You will, I’m sure, have seen several announcements for funding rounds during the summit. However, something we heard from a few different people was that there seems to be a dwindling appetite for larger funding rounds that some of the more established start-ups need right now. As the NewSpace market begins to mature, and with substantial prior investments still awaiting a return on investment, investors are understandably becoming more cautious.


LEO connectivity has been a hot topic for a few years now but there was one provider that was spoken about more than any other and there didn’t seem to be many panels that didn’t touch on at least a brief discussion of Starlink. What is obvious is that the theme of the discussion has certainly shifted, there are no longer questions around the viability of such solutions and now much more of a focus on how other providers will differentiate their offering from Starlink in order to mop up the obvious demand.

GEO Still Has a Part to Play, Especially for Regional Operators:

While LEO certainly dominated discussions, it’s obvious that GEO is not dead yet. There were a number of regional operators all shunning LEO platforms in favour of GEO as the need for a lot of capacity in a small footprint means that it is still the platform of choice for them. A further show of support for the GEO market came with the announcement of an additional $28m in funding for Swissto12 to keep up with the demand for their HummingSat platform.

We’re already counting down the days until next year’s event, can’t wait to see you all there!

The Humanitarian Applications of Satellite Technology

On Episode 16 of The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast we spoke to Anastasia Kuzmenko, the VP of Marketing & Communications at the IEC Telecom Group, about the cutting-edge technology that they are developing in the satellite space. She shared how their satellite technology can be applied to various verticals, including the maritime and humanitarian sectors. Read on to hear more!

What does the industry need to do to ensure that there is an increased focus on the success of humanitarian applications for satellite technology?

When it comes to use cases, increasingly specialised softwares and optimised applications would allow humanitarian missions to carry out their operations in the remote areas. Imagine a situation where we are in a remote settlement, where there is no bank infrastructure, no hospitals, etc. One of the latest use cases in the humanitarian industry was the launch of mobile units that could deliver services to those kinds of settlements on a certain schedule. This is where we need to think outside of the box and ask what else can be there? 

I can imagine specialised stations or applications which would help to bring more educational opportunities to those remote communities. We can even provide entertainment. A lot of social development or social integration happens through the arts. Being part of the wider culture, being able to see movies and documentaries – to be part of this social world in general – is exceptionally important. The humanitarian field in general should utilise the capacities of satellite telecommunication in order to power different digital applications and bring those skills to the remote areas.

What do you think we can do to focus the technology and help close this divide? 

We definitely need to look at satellite solutions as systems. The fact that we have LEO networks which provide high speed and low latency is very important. However, it’s not enough to deliver impactful solutions on the ground. The humanitarian solutions represent a complex architecture, where you would have the terminal, the backup, and then a range of services catered to a specific need. 

When we are out in the wild with those remote communities, we can’t just rely on one terminal to deliver the connectivity and services we need. We have to  consider the fact that any satellite telecommunication is vulnerable to external factors, whether it’s a weather condition, geographical landscape or other obstacles. In order for those applications on the ground to run continuously, we need to have a system where there will be a main link and a backup. We need continuous connectivity. But what do we do with this connectivity? This is where it’s important to have network management tools which will allow us to control the quality of the network and make sure it’s utilised in the most efficient way. 

Next we should consider the value added services. How do we want to filter this network? How do we want to optimise the bandwidth of this work network? How do we distribute these capacities? Solutions such as Expand are equipped by a network management system on a voucher capacity, which means that if you set up this kind of system in the humanitarian camp we could issue individual vouchers to the inhabitants. The same way we distribute food, we can distribute connectivity. 

What really matters when it comes to satellite technologies within the humanitarian field is to have a clear understanding, not just of the capacity, but also of the functionality or the operator. It’s about delivering complex solutions that are specifically designed to solve a specific issue. It will equip all the  necessary tools to run smoothly and ensure operational continuity throughout the exploitation.

To learn more about using satellite technology for humanitarian purposes, tune into Episode 16 of The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Applying Satellite Imagery to Different Markets  

With the rise of on-satellite data processing technology, satellite imagery is becoming increasingly accessible. On Episode 15 of The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast we were joined by Jakub Dziwisz, CEO and founder of Orbify, to talk about Orbify’s platform and the marketplace for Earth intelligence applications. Jakub’s background is in software engineering, giving him some great perspectives into the application of satellite imagery, which he shared with us on the podcast. 

“In general, there is a great potential across a variety of vertical threads. Forestry management has some untapped potential. Similarly, when it comes to farming and marine monitoring there is a huge amount of work that could be done. Satellites can also be used to create smart cities and monitor air quality. There are five satellites collecting a lot of useful information about air pollution and air quality at present. 

To give you an example, last October I was in San Francisco attending the Geo for Good Conference by Google, and I talked to the person who worked for Copenhagen municipalities on air quality analysis. In Copenhagen they realised that 10% of citizens are dying due to diseases caused by poor air quality, and Copenhagen isn’t one of the most polluted cities. They decided to do something about it to try to revitalise the city, and based on an analysis that was made, they found that certain areas of the city are more polluted. So, they put domes in their parks so that people could spend time outside under those and be shielded from poor air quality. They did the same for bus stops to help people inhale less pollution. At the same time they built playgrounds in cleaner areas to encourage people to congregate there and spend more time in the clean air spots. 

That’s a great example of how municipalities and local governments can take advantage of Earth observation to revitalise their city. The downside of the story is that building that analysis took them two months with RBI, whereas that’s something you can do in two hours with current technology. More local governments could take a look at what’s happened in Copenhagen and take actions too.

There is a lot of space for improving how we use data to react to crisis situations and emergency responses. It’s already starting to happen, but I think that there is a lot more scope for development. To go back to the forest monitoring vertical, we can do much more if we build solutions that can be used by citizens to understand what is happening in the environment around them. 

I can give you an example from my neighbourhood. I’m living in a relatively green area of Krakow, where one local businessman bought a parcel of land and started doing some weird transformation. He cut all the trees down and brought in some heavy machinery to remove mounds that were over there. He’s devastating the terrain. Now no one is able to stop him. If we gave these observation tools to normal people we could see that something unwelcome is happening in the neighbourhood and stop it before it goes too far. Normal people are just trying to understand what’s happening around them.”

To learn more about what’s happening in the Earth observation sector, tune into The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Exploring Space as a Service 

With the improvement of on-satellite technology there has been a surge of interest in hosting ‘space as a service’ business models. On Episode 14 of The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast we were joined by Dennis Silin, who is the CEO and Founder of Exodus Orbitals. He established Exodus Orbitals in 2019 as a ‘satellite as a service’ space startup based in Toronto. Here are Dennis’s insights into the ‘space as a service’ business model:

The primary direction of the ‘space as a service’ business models is making satellite capabilities more available by democratising access to them. End users want fast, cheap and effective satellites, with easy access to a digital service like storage or cloud computing. They also want minimal hassle with the maximum amount of use for the least amount of money. For existing satellite companies, even NewSpace ones, it doesn’t make sense to offer something that will cut into their own profits. They’re looking for ways to create those ‘as a service’ platforms while increasing their revenue, not decreasing them. 

There’s a conflict between what the customer wants and what the vendor or satellite operator wants. At the same time, the whole nature of ‘as a service’ is making those services cheaper, more accessible, and costing less than the alternative. In my opinion, the incumbents are not going to solve this problem, even if they do know how to solve it. Why would they do something that will disrupt their own business model? Why would companies like Planet Inspire offer their satellites for a low cost if they make more money by just selling data from them? 

As a new company, Exodus has nothing to lose and everything to gain from this model. We’re doing something that’s not really been executed yet, giving users a fast, cheap and efficient way of accessing space, mirroring the development of the IT industry. If you remember the history from the 1960s, there were one or two big companies offering mainframes which were so expensive you couldn’t even buy them, you could only lease them from IBM. It would cost you a lot of money per month just to use the computer, but in the ‘70s and ‘80s, personal minicomputers appeared and offered what businesses needed at a lower cost. Now there is a computer in every pocket. That’s what I want to build in the satellite industry; I want every person on earth to have their own personalised virtual satellite. 

It won’t happen immediately, we’re going to start with a b2b model. There is a company that has a few houses for rent and they want the satellite specifically tailored to track the state of the roofs with their own data feed. That type of customised mission is what we are trying to enable on our platform. We’re building a pipeline for these missions through software apps that you can use to deploy directly on the satellites. Earth observation satellites can be used in this manner, tailored to your specific, customised, local application. It’s not going to cost you an arm and a leg to make it affordable for small or medium businesses around the world. That’s our vision. 

To learn more about the work that Dennis and Exodus Orbital are doing, tune into The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Creating a Career in the NewSpace industry

In the last few years, we’ve seen a big shift away from data processing on the ground, to having a much more advanced computing and processing power in orbit. Some people are saying that we’re entering the era of smart satellites and spacecraft. On Episode 13 of The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast we were joined by Iulia Marushchak, the Head of Business Development at KP Labs, to discuss that claim. KP Labs are a Polish NewSpace company who aim to accelerate space exploration by advancing autonomous spacecraft operation using artificial intelligence and onboard heating and processing systems. Iulia’s career has given her valuable insights into the changes that onboard processing will bring to the industry, which she shared with us here:

I will take a step back to the start of where this onboard data processing idea is coming from, because the subject has gotten quite popular in the last few years. A lot of people are wondering why this is happening from outside the NewSpace sector. I would start in the Earth Observation sector. The amount of the data that is generated in the Earth Observation sector is tremendous. We have more than 1000 satellites circling the Earth, and there are more and more constellations coming from the commercial sector too. The amount of data that needs to be sent, stored and protected before it comes to the final customer in the form of the application or a service that they’re using is huge. There is a long wait, because this data is coming in raw to the data centres. This data is often very complicated, which is made worse by the very fast development of sensor resolution and frequency. 

One hyperspectral image is about two gigabytes. It would take around seven minutes for the transfer of one picture, which wouldn’t give us much information. The amount of data we receive allows us to extract a lot of necessary data, but the typical length of a communication session is from 5 to 10 minutes. That’s where the speed of data analysis becomes a problem. People started looking for solutions to this problem, and that’s when they figured, why should we send all the images to the earth when we can process them in space?

In addition, when a camera takes a picture, quite often, it takes multiple shots. Some of them are cloudy, some of them have some interference, and it ends up with us having tons of pictures which are not relevant for us. That creates a lot of issues on the ground. In addition, if we talk about the real time services, first you have to segment these pictures, pre process them and extract what you can use. Only then could you create what you need from the images. The idea of processing data onboard the satellite is basically a solution to limit the data that comes from the satellites to the ground. 

For crisis management, this is extremely important. If we have wildfire detection or flood detection systems and things like that, these services can change and save lives. We’re faced with a lot of challenges to make this happen, because you need powerful data processing units on board, and at the site at the same time, there are a lot of new missions coming. Now I think we could say that we have found some solutions to the problem. 

When it comes to onboard data processing, there is also telemetry data. That’s important because it allows us to detect anomalies on board of the satellite and react quickly, taking measures to lower the risk, so that the mission will be successful. For the NewSpace sector that’s quite important because missions are developing fast, and they need solutions that allow them to manage the mission on board. At KP Labs we’re creating an ecosystem of products that would answer both of those needs. We’re building onboard data processing and supporting the operations of the satellite. We call this ecosystem the Smart Mission Ecosystem, and it consists of both smart satellites and smart payloads. 

To learn more about the Satellite & NewSpace industry, tune into our podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Inside ReOrbit’s On-Satellite Systems

On-satellite software has become a hot topic over recent weeks. On Episode 12 of The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast we spoke to Sethu Suvanam, CEO of ReOrbit, about how his company is creating potential through their new platform. Sethu moved into the satellite industry after finishing his PhD in information and communication technology, and he has since gone on to found ReOrbit, the satellite company that’s disrupting the industry with their reusable, autonomous and software-defined micro satellite platform. 

What can we expect to see from ReOrbit next? 

If you look at the space industry today, the core element is actually data. That’s what is generating revenues. If you go to any operator, they are actually more worried about the satellite in itself, which shouldn’t be the case. On the ground, if you look at how things are working with cell phones, nobody’s worried about the hardware equipment, they’re talking about ‘How much should I charge for megabits?’. Data is what we should all be considering. We’re now planning to build infrastructures that optimise the data flows in space so that the operators can just think about the fastest way of getting the data. We are envisioning our future view as very similar to Cisco and how they brought about a connectivity revolution for the computer industry. We want to bring a similar connectivity revolution to the satellite industry.

The focus on software within the satellite and space industries has a lot of potential. How do you think a software-first approach will create potential?

Typically, a Space Systems Engineer will design the hardware first, then think about how they can write the software. The moment the machine changes though, the requirements are not the same. That’s why space missions have at least 30% NRA. 

We’re developing the software first. Going software-first opens up your market, because you can then buy best in class hardware. It also enables us to start developing applications and functionalities onboard the satellite. If you want to have those architectures, then you need to get out of this hardware-first approach and put software at the centre. At the end of the day, it’s all about optimising the data flows and data routing, which is all done on the software, not the hardware. Going software-first also significantly cuts costs.

What are ReOrbit’s plans for the next 12-24 months?

At the end of the day, the crux of any company should be to generate revenues. That’s what we’re focused on; to keep increasing our revenues and profitability. We’re also building a sustainable company. It’s not sustainable in the clean air, clean energy sense, it’s more like creating a long-lasting company where generations of people can work. We are definitely growing and scaling up our team. We are now onboarding some more superstars of space. We’ve been quite successful in closing big contracts in the last couple of years, and now we are reaching a stage where we will start delivering on those. This fall it will be critical for us to deliver what we promised on time and at the cost we quoted. 

To learn more about the work that Sethu and ReOrbit are doing, tune into The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast here.

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Space Tech Expo Europe – Day 3

The third and final day is here and that can only mean one thing – scrambling for swag. Beyond the frantic grabbing of goods, there was a wonderful murmur of meetings, conference talks, and general excitement about the success of Space Tech Expo 2022. 

We were delighted to see the continued levels of attendees right from the start of the day until the very last moments, soaking up every minute of Space Tech Expo possible. Easy to spot were the sore-headed attendees of the Telespazio after-party last night walking the halls with glossy eyes. After all, even though it’s the final day, the show must go on.

And go on it has! It’s been delightful to see the continued enthusiasm and high levels of attendees today. We’ve seen everything from robots roaming to holograms to satellite demos and a vast array of space tech in action. 

Today’s conference talk highlights include a great discussion on the ever-looming issue of space traffic and collision management. It was fantastic to see some of the best minds in the industry coming together to tackle what will prove to be a massive obstacle for the issue in the coming years with the rise of mega-constellations. This was followed by what was a great way to finish an incredible array of talks from the three conferences – the innovation spotlight presentations.

Now, sitting in Bremen airport reminiscing about the great event that Space Tech Expo 2022 truly was, I can’t wait to see what next year has to offer! 

Today, Bremen really feels like the “City of Space”. 

Space Tech Expo Europe – Day 2

While outside the conference centre it might be cold, grey and raining, but you’d never know it from the buzz of excitement inside. 

Day 2 promised another packed day of meetings with existing clients, new companies and a whole host of fascinating talks on a variety of topics. The most important being not 1 but 2 “Women in Space” panels, which, if you’ve ever listened to our podcast “Satellite and NewSpace Matters”, you’ll know is a topic that sits close to our hearts. It’s obvious the industry has made great strides in addressing the imbalance, walking around the convention centre it’s clear there is a lot more work to be done! 

Walking around today it’s so obvious that day 2 is so much busier than day 1, which itself was still busy. Every booth is packed, all the B2B meeting tables are constantly booked up and meetings are spilling out into the foyers and any available floor space people can find. Hopefully, this bodes well for the future of the industry and I am sure we will see a large number of post-show announcements and partnerships in the days to follow. 

If you are here tomorrow, I would suggest heading to hall 6 for the final day of the LeanSpace hackathon. It’s been so great to see the real-time requests coming in for the teams in competition with each other and if you have some time, why not challenge them to find you something obscure. 

Anyway, we’re off to enjoy a drink, or two, at the post-show Telespazio networking event. Let’s see how many sore heads we can spot tomorrow morning. 

World Satellite Business Week – Day 4

Walking around the Westin this morning there were a lot of bleary eyes after the incredible Gala Dinner to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the World Satellite Business Week event. There was delicious food, fantastic entertainment, awards and surprises aplenty, as well as some interesting shapes being thrown on the dance floor, John Clifton I’m looking at you.

Even though I am sure there were a fair few sore heads and aching feet this morning, you wouldn’t know it given the enthusiasm you could feel for the first day of the Earth Observation focused portion of the event.

After a market presentation from Euroconsult’s COO, Steve Bochinger, followed up with an interview with the Undersecretary for Communications and Information Technology for Oman, Ali Amur Al-Shidhani, the day kicked off with a great session with some of the leading operators in the sector discussing their growth strategies for the future.

There were further sessions focusing on how the earth observation will be instrumental in guiding international action on climate change, how ground system as a service solution will create value for the EO sector and how cloud platforms will revolutionise the way we apply analytics and big data solutions to EO data but, unfortunately, after this it was time for the neuco team to get ready to return home.

Thanks so much to the team at Euroconsult, and especially to Emeline Bardoux, for inviting us along and for putting on what seems to be universally agreed to be the best show in the 25 years history of WSBW. Here’s to the next 25!

World Satellite Business Week – Day 3

As we reach the middle point of WSBW, smallsats and space exploration have become the topics of the day.

Smallsat manufacturers GomSpace, SSTL, Aerospacelab, Millenium Space Systems, Terran Orbital and Hemeria took to the stage to discuss everything from how current and future supply chain issues will impact their business, whether vertical integration is the path to follow, and whether having a key prime partner, such as SSTL’s relationship with Airbus or Terran’s with Lockheed, could be a key to success and longevity. 

As space exploration once again is brought to the forefront of the public’s attention with the upcoming Artemis programme and the push towards Mars, 4 key space agencies (NASA, ESA, Australia and Luxembourg) graced the stage to discuss the importance of private company participation in the future of space exploration, spoiler, not only is public-private cooperation important but fundamental to its success. It was also exciting to have confirmation from Jim Free, NASA’s Associate Administrator for Exploration, that there will be a further Artemis 1 launch attempt on the 27th of September.

It was also great to have a rebuttal to the doom and gloom we have been hearing about investment drying up in the industry from the VC community today with Seraphim Capital, Voyager and Karista discussing the space business from their perspective. The entire panel agreed that, far from drying out, investment into the industry is still at extremely high levels, with many funding rounds still oversubscribed, albeit slower than in previous years.

Given the current geopolitical situation and recent specific attacks on European Satcom infrastructure, another hugely important conversation surrounding secure connectivity in Europe took place today with involvement from the European Commission, ESA, EUSPA and the EDA. Catherine Kavvada from the EC reminded us that, although the concept of the need for secure connectivity pre-dates the invasion of Ukraine, the war has helped shape a consensus on the way forward.

Now, we look forward to the remaining days of the event where Earth Observation gets its chance in the hot seat.

World Satellite Business Week – Day 2

While NewSpace has, of course, been a topic on the tips of most tongues this year, it’s been the traditional Satellite world that brought out the biggest crowds on day 2 of World Satellite Business Week. 

What was, quite rightly, tipped as the most anticipated talk of the event certainly didn’t disappoint! CEOs from Eutelsat, Telesat, Intelsat, SES and ViaSat took to the stage to discuss the future for global satellite operators. 

I’m not sure I can even do a summary justice given how much information was shared, however, there were certainly a number of highlights to mention. 

Eutelsat CEO, Eva Berneke, talked about the capabilities of the newly launched Konnect VHTS satellite describing it as “an asset that will address the digital divide across 60 countries of Europe and Africa”. 

SES Satellites CEO, Steve Collar, addressed the future of direct to handset solutions saying “clearly satellite access to mobile is a potential huge part of satellite going mainstream” which he sees as hugely important for the future of operators, and the industry as a whole. 

Intelsat’s new CEO, David Wajsgras, gave some positive updates on Intelsat post chapter 11 and confirmed that this is “the first time in over a decade that Intelsat has seen a growth profile” and is expected to see “growth this year compared to 2021”. 

Viasat Inc. CEO, Mark Dankberg, confirmed that Viasat 3 is still progressing well towards launch with the satellite close to being fully integrated and that the proposed Inmarsat acquisition is just waiting for regulatory approval, and they should know soon “whether it will close this calendar year or next”. 

And last, but certainly not least, Telesat CEO, Dan Goldberg, confirmed that their LEO offering, Lightspeed, will happen despite delays as “supply chain issues have impacted the delivery” of the platform and that confidence in the success of the platform is incredibly high within the business. 

It’s great to see so many developments coming from the traditional industry showing that, far from being left behind by the NewSpace industry, they’ve shown they are more than up to the challenge the future brings. Bring on day 3!

World Satellite Business Week – Paris

What a treat to be back in Paris for the World Satellite Business Week at the fabulous Westin Hotel! And even better to be invited as a media partner of EuroConsult.

This year has been a sellout event with over 1200 attendees from 50 countries, 95 sponsors and 230 speakers, making it the best attended show in it’s 25 year history.

We have already been treated to some fascinating talks on day one with a diverse range of topics from connecting the unconnected, the future of optical communications, what Comsat manufactures need to do to stay relevant and the important part that service providers still have to play in breaking down the digital divide.

One of the standout sessions of the day, especially given the recent announcement surrounding their conjoined future, was a discussion around the future of satellite connectivity by the CEOs from Eutelsat, Eva Berneke, and OneWeb, Neil Masterson. Eva described the proposed merger as “a natural step” and that “GEO and LEO will be a much stronger proposition” and Neil adding that the “market opportunity is significant” and that their technologies are “highly complimentary”. 

From a selfish perspective, it has also been great to see the issue of where the next generation of industry talent will come from, with hiring problems and a lack of talent being topics of interest across a few different panels. Chirag Parikh from the National Space Council asked the question of “How do we get more skilled people into the sector?”, a question that, given the fact it has been brought up in multiple discussions, has no easy answer it seems.