Exploring ‘New’ Space: Spotlight on Satellites

Satellites have contributed significantly to the advancement of society and will continue to do so as constellations of small satellites with radically new capabilities being deployed as a result of the rapid advancement of technology.  

Satellites are the primary part of the space economy engine and are responsible for nearly three-quarters of the earnings from space activities. Satellites have contributed significantly to the advancement of society and will continue to do so as constellations of small satellites with radically new capabilities being deployed as a result of the rapid advancement of technology.  

The rise of satellites

Since the first satellite was launched in 1957, there are now more than 11,000 satellites orbiting our planet, with roughly 3,000 currently active.  

Following the launch of the first-ever satellite, our curiosity for space has only grown, and non-governmental organisations are now also taking an interest. As private firms compete to create more advanced satellites and reusable launchers, the space exploration industry is being disrupted. 

In this New Space era, the number of satellites currently in our orbit is expected to rise dramatically by the end of the decade.  

It is expected that so-called ‘satellite constellations’ (collections of dozens or even hundreds of little satellites working together on a single mission) are anticipated to account for the majority of the sharp increase in numbers. 

These constellations represent a new dawn for satellite technology. This new frontier, which is motivated by the need to expedite innovation, aids businesses in identifying chances to increase the capability of satellite and rocket design and manufacturing. 

Satellite Constellations

A satellite constellation is a group of artificial units that are similar or identical in function and design, controlled by a single entity. These groups make contact with one another and interact with ground stations throughout the world. They function as a system and are made to support one another.  

Satellite constellations rotate on a variety of, typically comparable orbital planes, ensuring continuous or virtually continuous worldwide coverage. 

Varying in size, the largest satellite constellation is Starlink (with around 2,000 active satellites), with the smallest being Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2, both containing two units. 

Upcoming constellations of small satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO), like those envisioned by Amazon, SpaceX, and other businesses, are anticipated to add some 26,000 additional satellites to Earth orbit within a decade. 

Space satellite

Space satellite

Accelerate Satellite Design and Manufacturing

How specifically can New Space companies start to push satellite technology forward? The solution lies in the proper economic model, which enables them to speed up satellite development and attain first-time-right quality for successful launches. 

All of this is made possible by the correct business platform, which combines data from several departments and offers digital capabilities to speed up design and manufacture. 

The Business Platform Supporting the Future of Satellite Manufacturing 

The ideal business platform needed to aid the design and manufacturing process for production will need to encompass a variety of elements to support manufacturers.  

This is where we come in.  

Our cloud-enabled 3DEXPERIENCE platform is the integrated solution that New Space players need to succeed in the new frontier of satellite technology.  

Here’s how: 

  • Digital Mission Engineering: allowing for the reuse of data and models from previous projects rather than beginning from scratch, stakeholders will be able to work together more quickly to produce innovative, sustainability-focused results by having a real-time overview of designs that are being developed 
  • Testing and Validation: thanks to superior virtual simulation capabilities, the testing and validation process can be expedited by businesses, allowing the opportunity to explore additional possibilities, resolve quality concerns and launch risks earlier, and quickly recreate complex space systems when they have multi-scale and multi-physics simulation capabilities 
  • Agility: a critical competitive advantage in the manufacturing of satellites, agility allows users to utilise the business platform to optimise their production schedules as well as the ability to react promptly to changes. Before putting any plans or plan modifications into effect, users can quickly assess the effects of various options using a Virtual Twin of their real operations. By doing this, users can stay on track for the greatest shop floor outcomes and ultimately speed up production without compromising quality.

Find out more 

By utilising the suite of powerful digital capabilities held within the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, companies can accelerate the product lifecycle from concept to take-off and gain a critical first-to-market advantage. 

With real-time collaboration, virtual simulation, optimized planning and the virtual twin experience, 3DEXPERIENCE allows users to bridge the gap between real and virtual worlds, enabling companies to extend the boundaries of innovation and make space more accessible. 

Get in touch today to find out the 3DEXPERIENCE platform can help you win the space race. 

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