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Alexey Ovchinnikov
Alexey Ovchinnikov

How To Buy A Satellite |LINK|

Open Cosmos, founded in 2015 and now hosted at the ESA Business Incubation Centre (BIC) UK, provides end-to-end mission services that allow its customers to focus on their specific needs for getting in-orbit data and not having to worry about how to get the satellite into orbit.

how to buy a satellite


Open Cosmos designed and delivered its first concept nano-satellite (qb01) in just 6 months with a launch granted by the European Commission. The current commercial pipeline contains multiple customers involving an entire nano-satellite mission for ESA, in-orbit demonstrators and constellations for both private and public commercial customers.

Open Cosmos raised $7 million in a series A funding round as part of its mission to make satellites more affordable and more accessible to everyone. It is based in ESA BIC UK located at Harwell Campus in the UK and is looking to manufacture 30 satellites a year

Operating alone or as part of a constellation, these satellites provide us with a global perspective from above. They help us monitor and protect our environment, respond to humanitarian emergencies, enable sustainable development, and much more.

However, repetitive acquisitions over the same area dramatically increase the chance of acquiring a cloud-free image. Optical EO satellites deliver images that are easy to interpret visually as well as through hundreds of processing algorithms.

Compared to visible satellite imagery, which relies on sunlight and can only be acquired during daylight hours, active sensors can obtain measurement anytime, regardless of the time of day or season.

The valuable spectral information contained within each low and medium-resolution satellite image us a significant advantage of using this data. As a result, you can calculate combinations of these bands and spectral indexes, revealing previously unseen information about features or objects.

The striking advantage of high-resolution satellite imagery is that you can distinguish and identify small objects such as individual cars, houses, or trees. Leading commercial providers such as DigitalGlobe, Planet, and Airbus make extensive archives of the highest resolution commercially available.

For example, the KOMPSAT-3A mission delivers the highest resolution data among all cameras installed on domestic satellites and is capable of acquiring images with a maximum spatial resolution of 50-70 cm.

With commercial high-resolution satellites, it is possible to pinpoint precisely where and when you are looking to image. Known as satellite tasking, this allows you an agile ability to task satellites to capture the areas of interest (AOIs) you need when you need it most.

One thing to keep in mind when using high and very-high-resolution imagery is that precise details and high-resolution imagery are only possible with higher quality sensors and satellites. So this comes with a __larger price ta__g.

Because a smaller area is covered, it is important to keep in mind that if you would like to image an area the size of London (1,572 sq km) then you would need four or more images from high-resolution satellites such as Pléiades-1 (400 sq km).

But, geostationary orbits are worth knowing about when looking at the kinds of orbits satellites travel in and if you are interested in weather data to complement your data investigations.

Satellites in SSO are useful for weather satellites as well as imaging due to their consistent lighting. To monitor changes across many days, weeks, months, or even years, comparing imagery at around the same time every day is crucial to uncovering changes.

By augmenting the number of satellites in orbit, we can lower the waiting time between observations of the same scene. An excellent example of that is the two Pléiades constellation satellites.

A chart depicting the relationship between spatial resolution and price of mainly commercial satellite imagery, with a couple examples of free data sources (e.g, Sentinel-2, Landsat 7/8). Prices were taken as averages from several resellers and do not account for discount pricing or marketplaces like UP42 with more flexible pricing options. Minimum area price is calculated from taking the minimum area size and multiplying by the price per sq km for a given data source.Source

A chart of various high-resolution and medium-resolution satellite imagery sources and their respective order prices (per sq km, not accounting for minimum area size) based on whether the order is for archive imagery (> 90 days old), standard tasked imagery, or priority tasked imagery. Some companies also offer options of fresh archive (

Rich, crisp imagery that is global and cloud-free was once reserved for government intelligence eyes only. Now, commercial satellite imagery is a treasure trove of valuable information for anyone looking to purchase and use it.

The most fascinating part of the coming decade is the synergetic capacity of all the EO satellite missions in space. How can we use all these different types of information and make the most out of this wide range of complementary data?

Remote forests are difficult to monitor. Satellite monitoring enables the true extent of deforestation to be understood. Use UP42 to combine satellite data and off-the-shelf analytics to detect indicators linked to deforestation such as the presence of trucks or increase in settlements.

Agriculture consists of complex interdependent processes. In order to maximize yield and sustainability, resources should be organized efficiently. In contrast to conventional agricultural methods, the use of digital satellite data can increase resource and cost efficiency drastically.

Gain access to evidence-based knowledge to support disaster risk reduction and response plans with satellite imagery and analysis data. With satellite insights, you can get the right answer at the right time.

For the first time since the beginning of the space age, privatisation of space has reached such an extent that now you can build (or buy) your own satellite and send it into space. Now if you're wondering why you'd spend money to send a satellite into space, the answer, really, is because you can! Because these are the glorious times we live in! Because it just puts you in the same league as NASA, SpaceX, ISRO and the likes. Okay maybe not... but because you can actually boast about having something in common with Elon Musk or, really, just use it at a bar or on your Tinder profile. We're really running out of reasons why you shouldn't send out a satellite into space so we'll just get down to business and tell you how you can go about converting your money into space-grade satellite technology. But first, some background:

60 years ago it took a superpower (and multiple failures) to launch the Earth's first artificial satellite - the USSR's Sputnik 1. At a little over 22.8 inches in diameter, Sputnik was the size of a beach ball and could do little more than go beep-beep and send low frequency radio signals back to Earth. And it took a rocket nearly 30 meters (nearly six storeys) high to send it to space. Sputnik stayed in space for barely three months before it burned down but we've come a long way since then. There are more than 2,271 satellites orbiting the Earth and an increasing number of them are now privately owned ones. As with all technology, satellites too have become a lot cheaper. You no longer have to be a superpower to launch and station satellites in orbit around the Earth neither do you have to be a billionaire. All you need are a few hundred thousand rupees and you can launch your own satellite into space. Because (and we cannot stress this enough) why wouldn't you? [#image: /photos/5cdc63a68e62992c4bf37625]

To put it simply, if you have enough money you can buy a satellite straight off the shelf. The standard, for long, have been the CubeSats (small cubes that weigh just 1 kg), which came up around 1999. Since then, more than 100 of them have been launched by NASA alone - but primarily for schools and colleges. The good part about a CubeSat is that the hardware and know-how for building one is open source. This means anyone can buy the parts and build one. A CubeSat packs enough power to perform complex communication and computational exercises in space. But if you're too bored to build one and, you know, have some money lying around, you can even buy one off the Internet from websites like The sad part is, while it's a lot cheaper than traditional satellites, CubeSats can still cost as much as $50,000 (INR32 lakh) and nearly $100,000 (INR64 lakh) when you include the cost involved in launching it.

While the TubeSat sounds promising, it won't be getting your satellite into space anytime soon and even if it can, there's bound to be a long waiting period. However, apart from the big ones in the private space race like SpaceX, BlueOrigin or ArianeSpace, which charge around $100,000 (about INR65 lakh) for launching CubeSats as piggybacks, a number of smaller players are coming up too. Of particular note, however, is RocketLab, a US-based aerospace company with a New Zealand subsidiary, which was recently in the news for launching the first orbital rocket from a private launch station. What sets RocketLab apart is the fact that its rocket, the Electron, is made specifically for the CubeSat launch market, and therefore is a lot cheaper to launch.

Electron only has a payload capacity of 225 kg - a far cry from the nearly 13,000 kg capacity of SpaceX's Falcon 9 and the 4,000 kg capacity of ISRO's GSLV Mk III. But if you're launching CubeSats of 1 kg alone, that means hundreds of satellites per launch. Compared to the $57 million that SpaceX spends for each launch of the Falcon 9, the initial launch cost of the Electron now stands at a paltry $4.9 million and is expected to go down even further. Do the math and you get a figure of around $30,000 (a little over INR19 lakh) for launching a CubeSat. The other benefit is that RocketLab is aiming high and has the chops to achieve it. They've already got an approval from the New Zealand government for 120 launches a year and have a target of doing 50 launches a year. That's nearly one every week. To put things into perspective, the total number of launches by all countries in the world in 2016 stood at just 85 (of which two were failures). Even ISRO - famed for its legendary cost-effectiveness (A usual PSLV launch costs around $15 million) did only seven launches last year. 041b061a72


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