Bengaluru-Based SatSure, Bellatrix Aerospace Team Up To Install Satellite Fleet In Orbit Starting December 2022

by Karan Kamble - Feb 6, 2021 01:23 PM +05:30 IST
Bengaluru-Based SatSure, Bellatrix Aerospace Team Up To Install Satellite Fleet In Orbit Starting December 2022Representative image of a satellite orbiting Earth
  • SatSure is planning to send a fleet of three satellites into low-Earth orbit starting with the first one in December 2022. It will be powered by Bengaluru-based Bellatrix Aerospace's propulsion systems.

Opportunities are up for grabs in India’s space sector, especially since June last year when it was opened for private participation, and Indian startups are not hesitating.

Space-based decision analytics company SatSure and aerospace manufacturer Bellatrix Aerospace have come together for a mission to install a mini constellation of satellites in low-Earth orbit.

The announcement was made on the company Twitter profiles on 4 February.

SatSure is planning to send a fleet of three satellites into low-Earth orbit starting with the first one in December 2022.

Chief executive and co-founder Prateep Basu told Swarajya that the satellites will be placed in an inclined orbit.

The planned satellite revisit time over a particular point on Earth will be two days. The result, hopefully, would be lots of in-house data.

“As a software enterprise company working on AI (artificial intelligence) models extracting insights, our infrastructure is data,” Basu says.

With the help of the satellite fleet, SatSure will be able to obtain space-based data by themselves, rather than relying on third-party sources for it, and use it to generate key information across the verticals of infrastructure, agriculture, banking, and insurance.

They use satellite data, machine learning algorithms, and their big data platform to deliver insights. They are recognised as a global innovator by the World Economic Forum.

“For us to have control on data, we decided to build our own fleet of satellites and further power our services,” Basu says.

The company will be sending out a ‘request for proposal’ to the industry soon for payload design, integration, and testing. However, the launch provider is yet to be decided.

For the mission to succeed, the satellites would have to be placed in low-Earth orbit and kept there. And here is where Bellatrix Aerospace will play its part.

Bengaluru-based Bellatrix Aerospace develops spacecraft propulsion systems and orbital launch vehicles.

The space startup turned six years old on 4 February. It was founded in 2015 by Rohan M Ganapathy and Yashas Karanam, and incubated at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru.

“Our thrusters will fly on an actual satellite mission,” the company tweeted on the day of the announcement.

Bellatrix’s speciality is a new type of electric propulsion system that uses water as a propellant. They came up with the idea of a green propulsion system because they wanted to cut the cost of space technology.

Recently, ISRO chairman K Sivan hailed the idea when he appeared on the Doordarshan programme “Startup Champions” featuring Bellatrix Aerospace and two other space startups.

“All our propulsion systems right now are very poisonous, hazardous… I am very happy that Bellatrix is coming up with a very innovative idea of using water as a propellant. This is what I call disruption,” he said.

Bellatrix plans to use their self-developed satellite platforms to carry out missions with niche requirements in the future, such as the one involving SatSure that they have now signed up for.

The SatSure-Bellatrix Earth-observation fleet is likely to be preceded by the Firefly fleet, starting with the satellite “Anand”, for which Pixxel and NewSpace India have come together.

Anand is expected to be launched at 10.24 am on 28 February as part of the PSLV-C51 mission along with two other Indian satellites and the primary payload in the form of Brazil’s milestone Earth-observation satellite Amazonia.

Also Read: Skyroot Aerospace Signs Up With ISRO; They Now Get Access To ISRO Facilities, Technical Expertise

Karan Kamble writes on science and technology. He occasionally wears the hat of a video anchor for Swarajya's online video programmes.

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