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Satellites and Technologies: How Services Are Transformed Today

If we talk about the next 10 years, it’s safe to say that services based on the analysis of big data received from the satellites will continue to expand. An NSR report states that by 2028 they will bring companies a gross income of almost 18 billion US dollars.

One of the strategic tasks businesses face is foreign data substitution.

RBC TV’s representative talked with Nikolay Pozhidaev, Sitronics Group President, Vladislav Ivanenko, Sputnix Director General, and Daniil Filippov, Sputnix Engineering Mathematician.

Nikolay Pozhidaev: We’re absolutely sure that the Russian space industry and demand for its services will continue to grow. Services quality will improve as well, as they are in high demand. It will be, so to say, another step in obtaining information for the use by businesses and the state.

Data from the Earth remote sounding can show us if soil is subsiding, what structures are endangered. We will be able to know this in advance, and certain timely measures can be taken. If something has happened, having this information allows optimizing the workload for all emergency response services. They will know exactly what to do, and where. National companies today are rapidly growing.  They develop and assemble satellite subsystems, not just small spacecraft. One of such companies is Sputnix, a member of Sitronics Group.

Vladislav Ivanenko: We expect that products offered to Africa, Latin America, and Middle East will not come from international companies only, we should be able to get our share of the market as well. Today we have all the required capabilities and competence.

Speaking about technological trends in the industry, the tendency right now is to scale down. If before some feature or operation could require a one-ton apparatus, now the weight would be limited to 10–20 kg.

Sputnix representatives note that with the size reduction, data acquisition quality and accuracy are improving. Now there are five orbital satellites under the company’s control, and there are plans to increase their number to several dozens. The satellites are controlled from the company’s own flight control center; the data is collected at a surface station. All testing and research work is performed in their laboratory in Moscow.

Tell about this installation. How does it work?

Daniil Filippov: This testbed simulates the Earth’s orbital space. This cage we are in creates the required magnetic field. This is the Sun simulator, and the satellite itself balances on a bearing and flies simulating the zero-gravity state. This way we can fine-tune the stabilization and orientation systems.

These tests help polish the algorithms, exclude all errors at the tune-up stage, and, therefore, minimize the number of emergencies after the launch.

Another area being actively developed by the company is the radar Earth observation satellites. Their main advantage is complete independence from weather conditions. The acquired data is important for waterways development, including the Northern Sea Route, and for significant environmental projects, such as carbon-neutral emissions.

Sitronics Group and Sputnix intend to develop the marketplace for data provision to clients rather than just produce and launch satellites. Now “information from space” will become more accessible to clients.

Nikolay Pozhidaev: The buyers of satellite data or satellite analytics today are mostly large corporations or the state. We want everyone, even small companies that need some space data for their business, to be able to buy it. This information will become cheaper because it will be possible to use the same data for different purposes. Everybody uses marketplaces to buy goods and services, so we decided to create something similar for satellite services. We also decided to develop platform-based solutions.

Company representatives stressed that marketplace creation is stipulated by the current demand, and today in demand are specifically these services. A satellite becomes a tool for acquiring such data. This data will be accessible on a platform where users can get access to cloud storage with the information they need. The company representatives are sure that the next move in the satellite data supply is analytics. The demand for those will be even greater.

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