Poland in space – part II

“Poland in space” – the second part of the article!

Poland in space – part II

Poland in space - part two

Space business is one of the industry branches that are developing very rapidly, bringing new technologies and knowledge to the world. But unlike other Big Science – e.g. CERN – it’s the most media and popular at the same time, because the greatest discoveries are primarily associated with science-fiction and are conducted in space, among alien planets and stars. Such associations lead to the conclusion that only rich and large countries can participate in the race to the stars. But it’s not true! We’ll show you that in the second part of the “Poland in space” article.

 

ScanSAT satellite developed by Scanw

Mechanics on comets and on Mars

The Polish leader in contacts with NASA is the Astronika company, which designed, built and tested the Mole penetrator, which is to drill wells on Mars in the InSight mission. They also have people in the team that were responsible for the MUPUS penetrator from the failed Rosetta missions – in other words, world-class mechanics and space robotics. While Polish products in this area are ahead of the competition by light years, it is not a field that will give work to the dozens of Polish companies. It is unfortunately too limited, which, however, does not detract from its complexity and media coverage. More about Astronika.

 

More about Astronika:

Official webpage → www.astronika.pl

MUPUS → MUPUS on ESA webpage

The Mole → about the system on the Polish Space Agency webpage

 

Kret w misji InSight źródło NASA JPL

HP3 instrument in InSight mission, source: NASA JPL

Software for satellite data processing

Due to the fact that in Poland a very strong emphasis is placed on the IT sector, it is not surprising that our space industry uses these resources. Several companies have been established that operate only in the area of software – both for electronic copmonents and for the so-called downstream, i.e. the use of satellite data.

 

The largest project in this field was creation of the CREODIAS platform, which is one of the repositories where data from the European satellite program COPERNICUS is saved (link).

 

Despite the fact, that the downstream sector is the vast majority (from the perspective of financial value) of the space market, awareness of the possibilities of using satellite data among end users (public administration mostly and farmers) is very low. This has a very negative impact on the development of this area and might stop further Polish investments in this sector. Nevertheless, according to the Polish Space Strategy, the government sector should work quite well together with downstream data. This allows an optimistic view of the future of this part of the space industry.

 

Obserwacja-satelitarna-naszej-planety-to-dynamicznie-rozwijająca-się-gałąź-źródło-pixabay

Earth Observation is a branch of space business that is developing rapidly

Manufacturing of electronic systems

Very large share in the Polish market is dedicated to companies and institutes (such as CBK) which deal with the development of specialized and small electronic systems for the various space missions – not only those flying into orbit, but also further to other planets. The best example of Poles’ cooperation with ESA is the JUICE mission (JUpiter ICy Moons Explorer), which will reach Jupiter around 2030 and will then begin exploring its three largest moons. Polish contribution to this mission is one scientific experiment and some subsystems for other instrument, as well as devices for testing electronic systems before flight (check Polish instruments in JUICE mission here – click!).

 

Many electronic components dedicated to the space industry – but also other Big Science fields – are being created in other Polish space companies. One of them, the largest space company in Poland, Creotech Instruments, has a certified electronic components production line. In addition, this company integrates satellites for another global company – ICEYE (link).

 

It seems that this direction is very good for the development of individual companies, but it does not completely distinguish Polish enterprises from its European competitors.

 

Earth seen from ISS module Cupola

What’s next?

In recent years, a number of entities have appeared in Polish space market. Thanks to combination of private and public funding, they have started space projects – usually connected with satellites. What’s interesting, each of these projects aims to demonstrate the potential of the company on its own – without any industrial, national or military contract. Such demonstration may lead in the future to foreign contracts as well as further steps in decisions regarding Polish dual-use Earth Observation satellite.

 

These companies are Scanway, which works on ScanSAT project – financed from private investments and National Centre for Research and Development; Creotech, which is building a microsatellite platform with money from the same sources; KP Labs, which deals with the use of very advanced electronics and algorithms for data processing in orbit – on a nanosatellite platform provided by an external partner; SatRevolution, which has the ambition to be a supplier of standardized CubeSat platforms.

 

More about our ScanSAT satellite here – click!

 

Polish need to have its own EO satellite is unquestionable and the above mentioned companies are trying to prove to themselves and to the state that in Poland there are possibilities to create a small EO satellite. The fact that combined public and private resources have been involved in that projects should be of interest of the government. Is that true? It is hard to say, but at the moment (September 2019) another funding program has been launched for companies working in space sector. This is certainly another stimulus for the development of the Polish sector and its future successes, but it may prove problematic due to the necessary financial participation in projects. At the moment, it is estimated that the contribution to the entire project, which is worth PLN 300 million, exceeds all state and private investments in Polish space industry.

Hope remains that at the end of 2019, or at the beginning of 2020, when the results of the competition are announced, it will be a solid foundation for further, amazing successes of Polish companies. These achievements can appear both on the foreign market, in further, more technically complicated orders for e.g. ESA, but also on the Polish market – in the form of specific satellite solutions offered to the army and the government.

Polish space - plans for the future

Polish need to have its own EO satellite is unquestionable and the above mentioned companies are trying to prove to themselves and to the state that in Poland there are possibilities to create a small EO satellite. The fact that combined public and private resources have been involved in that projects should be of interest of the government.

 

Is that true? It is hard to say, but at the moment (September 2019) another funding program has been launched for companies working in space sector. This is certainly another stimulus for the development of the Polish sector and its future successes, but it may prove problematic due to the necessary financial participation in projects. At the moment, it is estimated that the contribution to the entire project, which is worth PLN 300 million, exceeds all state and private investments in Polish space industry.

 

Hope remains that at the end of 2019, or at the beginning of 2020, when the results of the competition are announced, it will be a solid foundation for further, amazing successes of Polish companies. These achievements can appear both on the foreign market, in further, more technically complicated orders for e.g. ESA, but also on the Polish market – in the form of specific satellite solutions offered to the army and the government.

 

Scanway i German orbital systems

Scanway and German Orbital Systems signing Letter of Intent about Moon mission

More information? Here you are!

Do you want to know more about the Polish space sector? Have a look at the first part of the article!

 

→ Poland in space – it’s not a joke! first part of the article – click! 

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