A Skyroot-ConnectSAT collaboration for Advancement of Primary Sector in Developing Countries through Satellite and Launch Capacity Building

Today, technological advancement and commercialization in the space sector have ushered to a new era of progress and led humankind into many avenues. Given the implementation of nanosatellites, reusable launch vehicles, and access to satellite data, outer space is more accessible than ever today. Although the space sector is predicted to hit 1.4 trillion USD by 2030, today, out of 192 nations, only 7 space agencies have successful space programs. The current scenario insinuates that 84% of nations struggle to access and avail these technological developments. Thus, this raises the question, is outer space really accessible and accessed by all? Understanding this, Skyroot Aerospace, which is a national award-winning Indian start-up developing launch vehicles for small satellites and the first to test solid, liquid, and cryogenic propulsion technologies successfully, felt the need to undertake an activity to address this question and create opportunity for all in consonance with its vision, democratizing space for all. To bring this vision into reality, it has engaged with ConnectSAT, a French start-up for space, providing solutions for low-cost internet connectivity in remote areas of Africa and aiming to bring in place the Africa’s own satellite constellation under Osiris project with its know-how for space mission design and program management. ConnectSAT, through its innovative technology partnerships, provides opportunities for small satellite projects built by universities, non-profit organizations and start-ups. It thus paves a low-cost pathway for CubeSat developers to conduct scientific and technology demonstrations in space, enabling students and faculty to obtain hands-on experience. Our collaborative vision culminated in the OSIRIS project, a project to aid the needs of developing nations while understanding the unique territorial and infrastructure challenges of each nation. Moreover, each project is selected to demonstrate a benefit to the population by addressing aspects of science & exploration, technology development, education, etc., relevant to the United Nations development goals. The recent partnership of ConnectSAT with Ecole Supérieure Polytechnique de Dakar in Senegal and the fishing community of YENE would track and monitor marine resources by using space technology and IoT devices to get telemetry data in our dashboard via the satellite. Thus, while ConnectSAT allocates its human resources to this project by training, providing mentorship, and technical support to students, Skyroot, with its expertise, supports launch vehicle technologies’ capacity building and provides launch, at preferential pricing, assist on legal, regulatory and other related matters. With the satellite data generated, the insights from on-ground analytics will revolutionize many activities, along with catalyzing space capabilities in the developing nations. With our heritage established capability to realize COSPAR’s vision, we look forward to a fruitful globalized, collaborative endeavor fortified with COSPAR to cater to the unsatiated demand and necessity of the rest of the world to enter the final frontier of space, ushering an era of utopian growth, aligned with our core vision to democratize space.

Publication:   44th COSPAR Scientific Assembly. Held 16-24 July, 2022. Online at                https://www.cosparathens2022.org/. Abstract PCB.2-0004-22.
Pub Date: July 2022