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Disruptive Attitude Control Technology foR Earth Observation Competitiveness

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - DACTREOC (Disruptive Attitude Control Technology foR Earth Observation Competitiveness)

Reporting period: 2019-03-01 to 2019-08-31

"Since the cold war, human kind has launched satellites to observe the planet and the universe, but also to communicated and deliver services like Direct TV. However, to complete their commercial or scientific mission, satellites are always required to be able to change their orientation over time (e.g. imaging cities, relay telecommunication signals, etc.). Satellites need to be able to point various targets on the Earth or other location in the Universe. For a satellite to move from one target and/or object to the other, it needs to be put in rotation. Unfortunately changing the orientation of a Satellite is not instantaneous and takes time before it is completed and stabilized. During the rotation movement the satellite usually cannot complete observation tasks and has thus some “down-time” that does not offer a valuable return. High performance attitude control technologies, referred as ""Control Moment Gyroscope"" reduce this down-time. Unfortunately, this technology is not easily available on the market, is very expensive and tailored only to large satellite designs (1,000 kg to 3,000 kg). Only 1% of all satellite built and launch are thus equipped with such technology.

This is an important problem for society because satellites are the only tool that deliver un-filtered insight to decision makers. They are the eyes in the sky that looks at things from above without having to risk any human life. If they are inefficient doing their job, then decision makers are also inefficient making decision. VEOWARE SPACE is a start-up company, focused on the Space Sector, currently designing and developing an affordable miniaturized version of Control Moment Gyroscopes for all future satellite to come. This technology will allow satellite to be more efficient in monitoring our planet, more capable to screen the universe and faster to collect the science required to understand our environment.

The overall objectives of the DACTREOC project were to:
1. Develop the business plan with the complete Customer-Supplier chain
2. Identify and review the risks to be mitigated within the technology Supply Chain
3. To understand the regulatory background of the technology"
In the course of the DACTREOC project, a major update of the business plan has been performed while the following main results are:

- More than 60 potential customers have been identified and more than 20 of them have been approached. This allowed the company to create six types of customers, namely the Large satellite primes, the Small satellite vendors, the small constellation vendors, the cubesat vendors and the mass production vendors.

- The commercial strategy has been updated with the creation of a minimum viable product based on customer need and who are willing to buy in the short term, even at higher risk given their urgency. Also, update of the competition with a new US competitor funded under US-Air Force budget that targets the same market. Fortunately, such competitor is restricted to export its future product in Europe.

- A significant supply chain analysis has been performed, starting from customer requirement, to supplier technical specification and risk evaluation.

- The company has been able to confirm that there is no show-stopper in terms of regulatory aspects providing that no US parts, components or sub-assemble is used. The team has produced recommendations for the next activity and identified of a law firm to support such activity.

Thanks to this activity, the company is now able to target its pre-selected top 5 potential customers. From those customers, the company targets a 30,000,000 € revenue opportunity, which can be captured as part of a “Go-To-Market” SME Phase 2 activity that is being jointly prepared with early adopters customers.
The DACTREOC project has been extremely successful for the team that was able to validate and qualify many customers willing to procure the company's product in the course of 2020/2021. These customers (including European companies) will equip their satellite with VEOWARE's technology and thus boost the effectiveness of their satellites. More insights will be collected every single day of the years, some of which will be beneficial for the Copernicus program (additional third party imagery data). At scale, the company anticipate that more than half of all Earth Observation satellite will be equipped with its technology, which would help generating 10x more imagery collection and providing transparency on what is happening on our planet every day of the year.

Further, thanks to this first project, the company is now able to better define its SME Phase 2 scope, timeline and Go-To-Market strategy. If combined with external investment, VEOWARE will be able to hire its first employees in the course of 2020 and brings its contribution to the strengths & competitiveness of the European space industry.