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ESA incubation center backed startup develops Cloud platform for space mission design

The company aims to provide meaningful satellite-based solutions, help companies design their own space missions, and make EO more accessible

Open Cosmos, founded in 2015, based at ESA’s Incubation Centre in UK, has developed a cloud-based platform that allows anyone to easily design a small satellite space mission. The company is currently working with its customers on the delivery of several missions, including remote sensing, telecommunications and scientific applications.

Partnerships are also being forged with stakeholders across the industry on the adoption of mission design and qualification platforms, which will deliver innovative mission concepts for the future.

Open Cosmos recently announced the development of Mantis Earth Observation satellite. Two other companies, Satlantis and Terrabotics, were also involved in the project.

The MANTIS satellite is the next step towards making Earth observation accessible to a wide range of new customers. It is one of the smallest Earth observation satellites in its class, offering a data quality equal to that of the much larger, more complex and more expensive alternatives.

“MANTIS is a great example of what is possible when the best specialists come together. Satlantis builds some of the best optical systems; Terrabotics is a leader in the field of space data processing; and Open Cosmos as world-class mission provider brings it all together”, says Rafel Jorda-Siquier, Founder & CEO, Open Cosmos, in an interview with Geospatial World

Rafel Jorda-Siquier, Founder & CEO, Open Cosmos

What are some of the main solutions that Open Cosmos provides?

The Open Cosmos product and service range covers the entire mission lifecycle. This starts with the mission design software, proceeds onto our qualification platform to test the payload and ensure flight readiness.

Once testing is complete, we will take the payload and integrate it into our satellite hardware. From here we will manage all other aspects of the mission, including frequency filings, launch, operations licenses, procuring the launch, managing launch operations, commissioning, mission operations and decommissioning. Open Cosmos will take care of everything needed, so the customer can focus on its mission objectives.

Do you think innovations like 5G, AI and easier availability of launch options would totally redefine the space industry in the coming years?

This process has already begun. Especially in areas like satellite communication and Earth observation, where commercial providers are already helping to redefine the space industry. Artificial intelligence helps satellites pre-process large amounts of on-board data, allowing much more efficient use of restricted downlink bandwidths. Technologies like 5G, but also Internet-of-Things and new Earth observation opportunities then drive new business for commercial space companies like Open Cosmos, leading to more demand for in-orbit demonstrations and ultimately for satellite constellations.

What do you think should be done for truly democratizing access to space?

In order for space access to be truly democratized, it must be simple, inexpensive and fast. Open Cosmos is one of the key players driving towards this and has dramatically reduced complexity, cost and time by re-engineering the entire space mission journey by leveraging the miniaturization and standardization of components and satellite platforms. We are also developing modular satellite platforms, utilizing commercial off-the-shelf products and employing rapid development cycles.