Meet the founders – Ecosmic
1- Can you briefly explain what your solution is all about? What’s unique about it?
Ecosmic aims to enable long-term safety and sustainability of space activities by providing leading-edge technology for space debris avoidance. The System to Avoid Fatal Events (SAFE) is Ecosmic’s first product: this ground-based software presents itself with an interface that can be easily used by space operators to enhance and speed up the collision avoidance process. Operators input characteristics of their own spacecraft, such as mass, state and state uncertainty, and SAFE provides collision probability estimation, using an innovative in-house developed algorithm, and, if necessary, also performs an optimisation process based on the clients needs, to suggest collision avoidance manoeuvres.
The main advantage of this algorithm compared to similar solutions is that it provides better accuracy when computing the collision risk for a wide range of scenarios. This allows to reduce overestimation in the detection of collision risk and therefore limits the number of false alarms and reduces the burden on satellite operators.
2- What’s the story behind your company? How was the idea for this business born?
Ecosmic was born when five TU Delft aerospace MSc students and one scientific illustrator passionate about space sustainability decided to take action. The issue of space debris is a danger for the future of space flight, but it is already a pain for space operators, and there is a market needs to be filled. In 2021, with the support of the Aerospace Innovation Hub, we decided to commercialise SAFE, which is the result of one of the members’ master thesis.
3-Which is the challenge that your solution tackles, and how do you set apart from the other companies with similar solutions?
More than 30,000 artificial objects orbit around the Earth and the probability of their collision with operational spacecraft keeps increasing with time, as new launches are performed, and space objects crash and explode creating more fragments. Managing close encounters in space and avoiding collisions is becoming a task that satellite operators cannot safely tackle from the ground anymore, which is why Ecosmic developed SAFE.
Ecosmic’s main competitive advantage is that SAFE is more accurate than the state of the art thanks to multiple innovations. Our probability estimation is both significantly more accurate and has a faster running time. As such, if ground operators use the software SAFE-S and not the competitors’, they will receive fewer useless daily warnings and if a collision has a high chance of happening, they will be able to know it earlier on and act faster, thus using less fuel and increasing the safety of the whole mission.
4- What are your goals, and what’s the biggest challenge you are trying to overcome at this moment?
Our biggest challenge right now is to validate our product through a beta-tester campaign and partnerships. We are confident that the right strategy is always to be customer-oriented. We aim at getting support from bigger players in the sector by the end of this year, and at launching our MVP by 2023.
5- What advice would you give to an entrepreneur trying to pave his/her way in the space sector landscape?
Building a network and good relationships in the space sector is key to getting visibility, but also to creating the necessary collaborations for the development of a startup. Having the support of a serial entrepreneur who has worked with space tech is probably the best way to make sure that you know how to set realistic goals and reach them.
6- About SUN, why did you apply?
We applied to get business coaching. Our team is made of young professionals who are not specialised in business, and as such we are eager to learn from someone more experienced. Our coach gave us invaluable advice on how to proceed in the market and how to approach potential customers.