Author Topic: India's Emerging Private Space Sector  (Read 3191 times)

Offline sanman

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India's Emerging Private Space Sector
« on: 11/06/2017 01:44 PM »
ISRO is continuing with its plans to outsource more of its activities to private sector companies, for the purpose of scaling up the pace of space launches as well as satellite production:

http://www.livemint.com/Science/c1EWxgeOgJUwGq4npZZcKJ/Isro-plans-to-scale-up-outsourcing-double-satellite-launche.html


One such company, Alpha Design Technologies, an electronics and systems integrator firm, recently led the effort to build an IRNSS satellite for ISRO, and will likely become a publicly traded company next year to fund its expansion. According to them, business is doing well and their orders are rising:

http://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/military-parts-maker-alpha-design-to-go-public-next-year/article19988098.ece


It's interesting how Bengaluru (formerly known as Bangalore) originally started out as India's defense/aerospace technology hub in the 80s, nurturing a talent pool which then grew it into becoming India's IT hub in the following decades, and is now once more the site for India's nascent private space sector, again benefiting from available talent pool created previously. Nowadays, IT is the mature (and some say obsoleting) industry, while space has the shiny new allure to it. Previously most grads used to disdainfully turn up their noses at ISRO with its lower pay-scale, and instead run to private multinational companies with their better compensation. Whenever I'd talk to friends about ISRO, they'd reply that the only ones working there were bookworms who were afraid to move away from home - ie. if you were working at ISRO, it was because you'd "Failed to Launch" (your career) by moving to a bigger city, or moving abroad. Indeed, you'd almost never see any grads from better Indian universities like IITs working at ISRO. But nowadays, with IT losing its sheen and suffering from job insecurity, and with ISRO's achievements reaching new heights and becoming a frequent source of national pride, ISRO job postings are suddenly attracting widespread interest and huge numbers of applicants as never before. Suddenly, space is now increasingly being seen as the next big thing for India - ie. the next big value-adding industry where Indians can compete.

I remember how in the mid-80s companies like Texas Instruments and IBM were among the very first to tie up with Indian companies for IT services. It took nearly 2 decades for the trickle to become a flood, with a wave of imitators eventually opening up. I'm wondering how India's private space sector companies and offerings will evolve from the early nascent stages to grow into larger and fuller-spectrum providers. Can you start out just building small satellites at first, and eventually somehow move up to launching your own rockets?

As ISRO spins off PSLV into a private launch consortium, in addition to having satellite payloads assembled by private, I'm imagining this could lead to a huge leap in efficiency, enabling many more missions than before, and significantly improving over India's current space capabilities. It would also free up a lot of ISRO resources to pursue R&D more aggressively for improving its technology faster. , Once the private consortium partners have demonstrated their competence through PSLV, then after ISRO has finished proving and certifying the newer GSLV, then it would be nice to see this platform also spun off to the private sector.

I'm also imagining that it will create the nucleus for an ecosystem of companies and private technical expertise that will spawn new space-related business pursuits, technologies and hardware that weren't previously available. Given ISRO's notoriously low pay-scale, I'd also imagine a significant portion of ISRO's in-house technical talent quickly migrating to the private sector for better rewards.

Can all of these things be done securely and responsibly, without falling prey to threats like military espionage, intellectual property theft, or corruption in general?
« Last Edit: 11/06/2017 02:01 PM by sanman »

Offline sanman

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Re: India's Emerging Private Space Sector
« Reply #1 on: 11/15/2017 06:12 PM »


http://www.news18.com/news/tech/why-isro-plans-to-privatize-pslv-manufacturing-by-2020-1578105.html

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Giving away the space business to a private player is a huge deal. So how do we weigh the pros and cons of the entire idea? ISRO chief explained how the rest of the world is shifting towards this trend. “This is the trend globally and we should not be left behind. If you look at the current scenario and compare it with just five years, the environment in the country vis a vis awareness and interest about space programs have seen a drastic change.” He revealed that the private space firms have shown interest in the Indian space programs while a few of them have even shown interest in their own PSLVs.

Well, at least they're thinking big  ;)

Offline sanman

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Re: India's Emerging Private Space Sector
« Reply #2 on: 11/20/2017 04:49 PM »
ISRO issues tender for construction of 35 satellites over next three years:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/isro-opens-doors-to-private-sector/article20603113.ece


ISRO chief says that even though ISRO won't pursue space tourism, they're willing to facilitate any private players aiming for it:

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/science/not-into-space-for-tourism-private-players-can-participate-isro-chief-as-kiran-kumar/articleshow/61727701.cms



Offline sanman

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Re: India's Emerging Private Space Sector
« Reply #3 on: 11/21/2017 09:54 AM »
More on ISRO's effort to privatize satellite fabrication:

https://www.thebetterindia.com/121759/isro-private-satellites/

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To facilitate this, spread over 25 acres in Bengaluru, ISRO built a space technology park where the infrastructure and entire range of facilities have been set up for use.

This seems like a useful way to cultivate an ecosystem of collaborative development, as well as to help address vital issues like security.

Offline sanman

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Re: India's Emerging Private Space Sector
« Reply #4 on: 11/21/2017 07:00 PM »
Let the mentorship begin:

https://www.telegraphindia.com/india/satellite-lessons-for-firms-187637


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Satellite lessons for firms

G.S. Mudur
New Delhi: India's space agency has offered to handhold industries through building satellites and launching vehicles on their own, space officials said on Monday.

They said this would be critical to meeting India's anticipated demand for about 18 new satellites annually over the next five years, and to increasing the number of launches from six during 2016-17 to 14 during 2022-23.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) intends to help industries that are already supplying myriad sub-systems and components for satellites and launch vehicles learn to assemble and integrate full space-ready systems.

It has already invited industries to participate in the assembly and integration of 30 new satellites within the next three years.

Under the plan, Isro will share with industry engineers the expertise and knowledge demanded by these tasks, either on Isro premises or at the industries' own sites.

"Our own capability is about nine or ten satellites a year, so we're hoping industries develop the capability to meet the country's demands," Mylswamy Annadurai, director of the Isro satellite centre, told The Telegraph.

Space officials say the rising demand for satellites and launches owes to the expansion of satellite applications to fields ranging from town planning and watershed management to geo-tagging of assets created under the rural job scheme.

Indian private and public-sector industries have been supplying subsystems and components to Isro for more than 25 years. But Isro itself has carried out the assembly and integration.

"But we're now reaching a saturation point under this mode of decentralised industry participation (with) assembly and integration only by Isro," said P. Kunhikrishnan, director of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, India's spaceport on Sriharikota island.

"We want to see a launch vehicle move directly from industry to our spaceport," he said, speaking at the conference, organised by industry chamber Ficci, Isro and Antrix, the space agency's commercial arm.

Industry executives welcomed the Isro offer. "This is a unique opportunity. Our engineers can learn new, sophisticated skills from masters; we can acquire that knowledge to help the domestic programme and take on similar assignments for foreign markets," said H.S. Shankar, managing director of Alpha Design Technologies. The Bangalore-based company has already participated in the assembly and integration of two Isro satellites on a trial basis.

Space officials say the entry of industry into assembly and integration will allow Isro's own scientists more time for advanced research and development and strategic planning.

Offline sanman

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Re: India's Emerging Private Space Sector
« Reply #5 on: 11/22/2017 02:36 PM »
Alpha Design Technologies plans to raise 300-400 Crore in its IPO, half of which will go into R&D, with the rest invested in critical infrastructure. They recently built an IRNSS satellite for ISRO.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/satellite-maker-alpha-design-to-go-public-in-six-months-117112101344_1.html
« Last Edit: 11/22/2017 07:17 PM by sanman »

Offline sanman

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Re: India's Emerging Private Space Sector
« Reply #6 on: 11/22/2017 03:05 PM »
So I guess I'm not sure what the spokesman for Glavkosmos is saying - do they mean that they might be launching out of India in the future?

http://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/isro-to-tap-opportunity-in-global-small-satellite-launch-space-117112101315_1.html

Quote
Glavkosmos, which specialises in rocket and satellite solutions, has said it would be ready for global launch before the end of next year. "It will also find its way to India soon,” said Vitaly Safonov, general director deputy, Glavkosmos. "I think we will come to it, because in a globalised world, co-operation between countries is also important".

Offline sanman

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Offline vineethgk

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Re: India's Emerging Private Space Sector
« Reply #11 on: 04/13/2018 02:18 AM »
Kerala govt setting up aerospace park in state capital to build an ecosystem for space companies in cooperation with ISRO
Quote
A senior VSSC official told Manorama Online that the project aims to provide the ecosystem for companies which are interested in joining the space efforts. “No investment will be made by the ISRO in the project. But the companies opening units in the park will get expert advice from the organization. Moreover, we will ensure that the companies have the right environment for functioning. If the companies are interested, ISRO will also purchase their products,” he said.
Quote
As several organizations dealing with aerospace, including VSSC, are already functioning in Kerala, the park will be a big success, feels the state government.

Re: India's Emerging Private Space Sector
« Reply #12 on: 04/18/2018 03:49 PM »
Alpha Design Technologies plans to raise 300-400 Crore in its IPO, half of which will go into R&D, with the rest invested in critical infrastructure. They recently built an IRNSS satellite for ISRO.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/satellite-maker-alpha-design-to-go-public-in-six-months-117112101344_1.html
I believe they assembled, Integrated and tested the satellite rather than building it.

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