ESA BIC SkyfloX: Better understanding our planet with airliner fleets
The ESA Business Incubation Centre (ESA BIC) Noordwijk start-up SkyfloX has developed a system of mounting sensors on airliner´s aircraft to provide a variety of Earth observations and telecommunication services.
With the vast number of commercial flights it allows for multiple daily revisit times over most of Europe, with even the fleet of a single airline company providing a significant coverage potential.
These sensors can be used to early detection of forest fires break out, rapid assessment of calamity impact zones to aid disaster response units, detection of oil spills, monitoring of forest yield and growth, and much more.
The technology concept ORCA patented by ESA has been licensed to SkyfloX. ORCA stands for ”Optical and RF Constellation on Aircraft”. It proposes to use commercial aircraft as a ‘platform’ to carry small satellite equipment (<10Kg) on the aircraft, with several equipped forming a ‘constellation’ for Earth observation and telecommunication services.
ORCA complements existing space-based Earth observation solutions, by realising a sub-orbital constellation capable of supplying wide coverage earth observation data with high spatial and temporal resolution, in a sustainable and affordable manner.
Also airliners will be able to extract unexploited value from their existing infrastructure with the ORCA operator paying fees for having the equipment carried by the Airliners’ aircraft fleet.
ESA BIC Noordwijk and the ESA BIC network
SkyfloX is hosted at the ESA Business Incubation Centre (BIC) Noordwijk where it gets access to aerospace laboratories and testing facilities.
The Technology Transfer and Business Incubation Programme Office of ESA manages the Space Solutions Programme, which has created the world’s largest ecosystem for space related Entrepreneurship. The 18 ESA Business Incubation Centres (ESA BICs) support 160 companies per year and more than 600 new start-ups have so far been fostered.
At the ILA Future Lab ”FUEL FOR INNOVATION” meet SkyfloX and other disruptive ESA start-ups together with Head of ESA Technology Transfer and Business Incubation Centre Office Frank M. Salzgeber, ESA BIC Manager Frank Zimmermann and Sabine Dannelke, the Head of Division Satellite Navigation/Galileo, Digitalization of Public Transport at the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure in Berlin, Germany,
The ILA Future Lab ”FUEL FOR INNOVATION” takes place in the FORUM Hall 2/204 at ILA in Berlin on Thursday 26 April 13:15 – 14:45.