Our Innovation Analysts recently looked into emerging technologies and up-and-coming startups. As there is a large number of startups working on a wide variety of solutions, we want to share our insights with you. This time, we are taking a look at 5 promising space technology startups.
Heat Map: 5 Top Space Technology Startups
Using our StartUs Insights Platform, covering 1.116.000+ startups & emerging companies, we looked at innovation in the field of space tech. For this research, we identified 256 relevant solutions and picked 5 to showcase below. These companies were chosen based on a data-driven startup scouting approach, taking into account factors such as location, founding year, and technology among others. Depending on your specific criteria, the top picks might look entirely different.
The Global Startup Heat Map below highlights 5 startups & emerging companies developing innovative space technology solutions. Moreover, the Heat Map reveals regions that observe a high startup activity and illustrates the geographic distribution of all 256 companies we analyzed for this specific topic.
Alén Space – Nanosatellites
Traditionally, satellites are large objects and typically need a lot of time and money to be placed in orbit. However, with advances in space tech, startups are now able to rapidly develop small-sized satellites at a fraction of the cost. Some satellites weigh as little as 1-10 kg and are known as nanosatellites. Additionally, these are easy-to-upgrade systems that usually participate as members of nanosatellite constellations to advance space communication technologies.
Spanish startup Alén Space offers ready-to-launch nanosatellites. The startup develops communication hardware, mission control, on-board software, and turnkey apps for data transmission. These are assembled to provide plug-and-play solutions for use cases in various applications of the Internet of Things (IoT), aircraft surveillance, and signals intelligence.
CesiumAstro – Communication Systems
Telecommunication is a major application area for satellites in orbit. Satellites communicate amongst others in the constellation as well as transmit signals back to earth. With the growth in small satellites, most of them just a few inches across, more space tech startups are putting up constellations of satellites in the orbit. As a result, the communication needs of new satellites within constellations are inspiring new advances in communication systems.
The US-based startup CesiumAstro provides out-of-the-box communication systems for satellites, launch vehicles, drones, and other space or airborne platforms. SBC-1461 is a single-board computer that operates in low-earth orbit (LEO) by design. The credit-card-sized framework comprises a quad-core processor, error-correcting memory card, mass storage, and multiple data interfaces. The startup also manufactures multi-beam active-phased array systems, Ka-band phased array communication system, and a cross-link communications payload, among other solutions.
ENPULSION – Electric Propulsion
The propellant constitutes a large part of a rocket’s weight. Electric propulsion enhances the performance of thrusters, and delivers equivalent thrust, with a fraction of the propellant required for chemical thrusters. As a result, rocket systems become more mass-efficient and the cost of launches is reduced. Electric propulsion also considerably increases the lifetimeof satellites, ultimately extending mission durations.
Austrian space technology startup ENPULSION manufactures electric propulsion systems. The startup develops the IFM Nano Thruster technology based on the field-emission electric propulsion (FEEP). Electrode voltages control the thrust, enabling excellent levels of control over both full and low thrust range. Also, the modular design of the thruster provides custom advantages for missions.
mu Space – Aviation Internet
Conventional inflight connectivity via air-to-ground (ATG) networks is prohibitively expensive, working only in particular circumstances. However, LEO satellite constellations enable high-speed satellite connectivity and have the potential to disrupt the aviation internet market. These satellite constellations also open up possibilities for IoT-based solutions for in-flight operations. The same technology extends internet connectivity to rural off-the-grid locations as well.
Thai startup mu Space develops satellite communication technologies. The startup offers in-flight connectivity (IFC) technology and a self-stabilizing IFC antenna that allows it to send and receive signals from a moving aircraft. This technology uses a network of satellites to offer wide coverage over flight routes. The startup also provides solutions for satellite monitoring, remote ground access, maritime connectivity, and 5G wireless.
Infostellar – Ground Segment-As-A-Service
Among other things, the success of a satellite depends on ground-based elements such as earth stations, mission control, remote terminals, and other facilities. The ground segment infrastructure is often expensive to operate and maintain compared to more cost-effective solutions, designed for small satellites. This provides the necessary encouragement for startups to develop solutions for the advancement in space technology.
Japanese startup Infostellar provides a Ground Segment-as-a-Service platform. StellarStation helps satellites access ground stations around the world through a single application programming interface (API). The third-party ground stations earn revenue by sharing surplus capacity on the platform. With 99.5% platform availability and best practices for security, this solution helps space businesses improve their services.
What About The Other 251 Solutions?
While we believe data is key to creating insights it can be easy to be overwhelmed by it. Our ambition is to create a comprehensive overview and provide actionable innovation intelligence so you can achieve your goals faster. The 5 space technology startups showcased above are promising examples out of 256 we analyzed for this article. To identify the most relevant solutions based on your specific criteria, get in touch.