How Indian small satellite industry gets commercialized?
How new commercial arms exploit technology
The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) supported India’s place in the global satellite industry by placing 104 satellites in the Earth’s’ orbit, in just a single launch. This is a record number of satellites that launch simultaneously breaking the record of 37 satellites by Russia in 2014.
ISRO has marked the 100th launch in the sky with the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C40 rocket in India. Moreover, they have planned 32 launch missions in the coming year. The Indian space agency continues to mesmerize the world with its achievements in the global space industry.
These and related developments take the Indian space market into a new space. It is referred to as the commercialization of the space industry driven by technological innovations and business opportunities. They have taken great initiatives in the previous year’s including Space Activities Bill, Make in India, Start-up-India, and the public-private collaborative approach of ISRO. All of them have helped the Indian space industry move towards commercialization.
Government Policies introduced to overcome commercialization
Apart from government policies and support, the commercialization runs by reducing satellite costs and rocket development costs. However, it is a result of ongoing technological advancements in the manufacturing process, material characteristics, and miniaturization in electric and electronic components. This results in reduced operating costs and optimizes the Return on Investment (ROI).
These factors are applicable to emerging companies that aim to capitalize on space utilization and uncover new opportunities. Currently, this new wave of companies is indicating small satellite industry to cater to wide applications like communication, remote sensing, and technological demonstration.
How applications create an impact on satellite market
Escalating demands for these applications in India is giving a boost to the small satellite industry, especially for start-ups. Exseed Space and Astrome Technologies are the most notable Indian start-ups in small satellite development. Exseed Space founds in May 2017 and Astrome Technologies founds in 2015. The satellite constellation by Astrome Technologies will provide high-speed internet with 100 gigabytes per second capacity, with their patented millimeter (MM) wave technology.
Moreover, commercial companies are also emerging in component manufacturing for small satellites. For instance, Bellatrix Aerospace is a start-up founded in 2016. The company is focusing on the development of advanced electric propulsion thrusters that can be used in small satellites. Additionally, Exseed Space is looking at developing small satellite platforms that primarily focus on assembly, integration, testing, and operation of satellites.
A paradigm shift in rising small satellite
The constant shift in rising satellite mega-constellations creates an opportunity for the companies in the satellite launch service business. For instance, Bellatrix Aerospace currently involves in the development of the electric propulsion system. It aims to develop orbital launch vehicles for satellites. Also, ANTRIX Corporation, a commercial arm of ISRO already develops the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) dedicates to launching satellites weighing up to 700 Kilograms (kg).
Growth opportunities for entrepreneurs
The Indian space industry offers different opportunities to present-day young entrepreneurs. In order to retain the movement, the government and private investors need to play a critical role. For instance, the ISRO move toward innovative pursuits by setting up business incubators.
However, a holistic approach boosted by favorable government policies encourages Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) that develops the confidence of investors requiring technological innovations. These initiatives will carry the capacity-building process forward in the Indian space market, and help to gain international opportunities for startups.