In a joint venture with Elecnor Deimos, Dauria Aerospace is looking to “bring to commercial markets the capability of providing imagery of the entire arable surface of the Earth, utilizing cloud-based technologies, for the most efficient use of an unprecedented daily revisit time,” according to Mikhail Kokorich, founder and president of Dauria Aerospace. In this conversation with Editor in Chief Joe Francica, Kokorich provides more details on the technical specifications of the satellite constellation the venture will launch and the market strategy for delivering daily coverage to consumers.
Directions Magazine(DM): Is the announcement between Dauria and Elecnor a joint venture with staff and resources contributed by both companies, or will the two companies simply be providing components to each other’s constellations? Please explain further. [See also background information provided in this press release.]
The two companies are combining their respective space and ground segments in order to get the most frequent imagery of the Earth from the spacecraft in the constellation. To be more precise, the existent capabilities of Deimos-1 satellite will be enhanced by the addition of eight Perseus-O spacecraft in 2015. The ground segment will continue to process data from the existent Deimos-1 satellite and will accommodate the data processing needs of eight Perseus-O satellites. A distribution network along with sales channels will be combined as well by pulling together the resources of the existent Deimos distribution network and the CloudEO platform, which is currently under development by Dauria.
DM: Can you provide more detail on the imaging payload that will be carried aboard the Deimos Perseus constellation? Will the spectral imager be the same on all satellites and which spectral bands will be included? Are you intending to use the imaging technology of Canopus Systems?
Optical payload has been developed by Canopus Systems US – Dauria’s subsidiary located in Mountain View, CA on the premises of NASA Research Park at Ames Research Center.Each Perseus-O satellite is designed with image availability and quality as the number-one priority. The 3-Channel Moderate Resolution Framing Imager utilizes the same spectral bands as Landsat and DMC for data continuity and allows seamless transition of existing applications to the Perseus-O imagery. Spectral channels match Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper bands 2, 3 and 4. Each imager is carefully characterized and calibrated both pre-launch and on-orbit to ensure the high quality and consistent images. The high data rate Mini Ka-band Transmitter provides high data rate downlink of the data for near real-time data availability (payload’s data sheet is available for download here. The payload will be the same on all eight Perseus-O spacecraft and would be compatible with Deimos-1 specifications; the only difference is that the swath of Perseus-O spacecraft will be slightly less than the one of Deimos-1.
DM: Do you anticipate the same ground resolution for each satellite or will the constellation be able to vary the spatial resolution of imagery collected depending on the application and image demand?
Resolution would be the same (medium resolution of 22 m per pixel) across the entire constellation and similar to Deimos-1 and Landsat spacecraft. The main idea of the constellation is to bring to commercial markets the capability of providing imagery of the entire arable surface of the Earth, utilizing cloud-based technologies, for the most efficient use of an unprecedented daily revisit time (frequency) when creating new/cutting edge services and applications.
DM: Do you anticipate adding a high-definition video imager with any future payloads of the Perseus-O satellites?
For Perseus-O satellites, the main task will remain to be the acquisition of static imagery. The constellation from the outset was designed to acquire images of the entire arable surface of the Earth. Although it should be noted, the current optical payload is capable of taking video, but in our case it would be moderate resolution video and we do not see many commercial applications for this type of service at the moment. The next generation of our satellites will be capable of recording high-definition video, which we believe will have many practical applications.
DM: Once you begin to collect satellite data daily, can you deliver the imagery daily or will there be lag time between data capture and delivery?
The entire data processing chain will be set up in such a way as to allow availability of new data on CloudEO platform within hours. The gap between the time the image is taken and its availability to a consumer on CloudEO will be in the range of two to six hours.
DM: What will be your delivery platform to businesses and consumers? Web service or other?
The delivery platform for both businesses and consumers will be Web-based and accessed via CloudEO platform. The customers will be able to purchase just the imagery itself or utilize the data to develop their proprietary applications.
DM: You are targeting environmental applications with your constellation and imagery. What other applications do you foresee utilizing your imagery and what is the growth potential?
We are considering the use of applications that have already been developed for this type of information – agriculture, crop yield analytics, vegetation cycles’ monitoring, forest composition and illegal deforestation monitoring, species migration tracking and other various analyses of natural living resources and of course, disaster monitoring.