Big project with Skoltech: joint use of ground stations

Knowledge Genesis together with the Skolkovo Foundation will participate in a new project on development of information platform for joint use of distributed ground stations for data reception from spacecrafts.

At the end of July 2018, our team won a tender for a grant from the Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises. Preparatory work for this project has already begun.

The proposed "intelligent network" of data receiving stations will be first created on the basis of the stations participating in the "On-duty for the planet" program, uniting technological competitions for schoolchildren in development of equipment for satellites, receiving space data and processing space imagery data. The program is implemented with support of the State Space Corporation Roscosmos, Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Innovation Support Foundation and Talent and Success Foundation. Its main goal is to increase the popularity of space research and development among a wide range of young people and schoolchildren in Russia and to create an accessible modern cognitive and educational environment in the field of space research and development.

Within the developed platform, individual stations will be managed on the basis of Centers for youth innovative creativity, Children's "Quantorium" Technoparks and Universities. The stations will have the capability of receiving data both in the ultra-short band (mainly small satellite telemetry) and at higher frequencies (S-band, scientific data from spacecrafts). Such a network of stations can be used both for scientific or educational projects (for example, receiving data from satellite constellations launched by universities), and for commercial projects (telemetry reception and control of commercial satellite groups).

One of the most promising areas for development of the created platform will be the space Internet of things, in which any object on orbit or on Earth can communicate with any other, build coordinated plans, receive results and deliver them "on demand" to consumers with the required quality and within the given time and cost limits.

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This development is based on the popular topic of collaborative consumption - joint use of goods and services, barter or lease instead of ownership. Collaborative consumption centers around the idea that sometimes it is more convenient to pay for temporary access to a product than to own it. In Airbnb, for example, these are houses or apartments, and in Uber - transportation services by private cars.

The authors of this idea are Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers, who wrote the book "What's Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption". In June 2010, Big Ideas broadcasted a TED talk by Rachel Botsman, an economist, writer and public figure, in which she argued that the new socioeconomic model would radically change the way people consume goods and services. As an example, she mentioned a drill, which is lying around in every house, but is used only for 10-15 minutes of its entire lifespan. Moreover, everyone needs a hole in the wall, and not the drill itself. Having amused the audience, Botsman added that there are plenty of other examples when it is more convenient to rent than to have. In the same year, TIME magazine named collaborative consumption one of the ten ideas that will change the world.

This "shared cost" paradigm will be used by our company, together with the Skolkovo Foundation, for the service of receiving or transferring data to or from spacecrafts via a network of ground stations. This is a relevant service as many universities involved in space science and education have their own ground stations, but use them mostly to receive data only from their satellites. Besides, such sessions do not happen very often. Thus, we can help people who want to use the "rest of the time" of this resource in order to solve their problems without having to purchase expensive equipment. Moreover, owners of this equipment can receive additional income. In this case, other universities, as well as schools that are not engaged in development of spacecrafts, but show great interest in this field for educational, cognitive or scientific purposes, can become market participants and consumers of space services.

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