In our SAT Chat series, we catch up for a brief Q&A with one of our corporate leaders. With the recent opening of our new facility in Toulouse, France, we asked David Liermann, General Manager for E-Space SAS, to reflect on the company's presence and opportunities in Europe.
With the opening of E-Space SAS in Toulouse, what advantages do you see for the company's presence in Europe?
Many advantages. Europe, through the EU, has a number of programmes in which E-Space SAS wants to participate and contribute its disruptive technology — the most immediate being the European IRIS² constellation, supported by the European Commission.
But that's not all. Independent member countries, the European Space Agency and the French and German space agencies, to name but a few, clearly have needs that E-Space can meet.
What do you see as the greatest opportunity for E-Space in Europe over the next five years?
The biggest opportunity is not just a European one, but one that will have an impact on the satellite industry worldwide. Through our ongoing industrialisation efforts, we plan to radically innovate the satellite manufacturing process. We expect our innovation will translate into significant end-user savings — in what we estimate to be an approximate 90% reduction in total cost of build, ownership and service. By lowering the cost of entry into space, we are enabling numerous opportunities across the civilian, governmental and military fields alike.
Sovereign control of space assets is a major objective of the European Union. How can E-Space help the EU achieve these objectives?
E-Space SAS can build and deploy a constellation of satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO) for the EU very quickly. Think of this scenario: Our constellation can augment any multi-orbit space architecture, comprised of geostationary (GEO), medium Earth orbit (MEO) and LEO satellites and complete the EU's vision to provide ubiquitous, high-speed, Smart-IoT communications for tactical communications, which today no other constellation can provide.
Our constellation R&D and manufacturing will take place in Europe/France.
With E-Space's focus on space-powered IoT, what are the main markets the company could address with this non-terrestrial approach?
E-Space plans to operate in a unique segment of the communications market that lies between the broadband and traditional narrowband/“beep” IoT market. With our expected data rates combined with unique terminals, we can address both commercial and defense markets. In commercial, we see opportunities from connected vehicles and telemedicine to connected agriculture and forestry management — to name a few.
In the military world, we can propel Command and Control (C2) and Command, Control and Communications (C3) capabilities into space, enabling the military to deploy enhanced connectivity to theaters of operation very rapidly. There is no shortage of defense applications that will be able to leverage our satellite system for increased situational awareness capabilities and ”use anywhere” coverage.
What opportunities for collaboration and partnership do you envision with certain aerospace players in Toulouse and beyond?
We're holding a number of discussions with key players in the Toulouse ecosystem, including aerospace companies, national research communities and the French space agency (CNES). This allows us to share knowledge, skills and infrastructures and simultaneously participate in intelligent cooperations with established players in the industry.
As E-Space's presence in Europe grows, what kind of talent is the company looking to recruit over the next few years?
We’re hiring! Today, we're mainly recruiting engineers; however, as we move beyond R&D and into commercialisation – the roles and opportunities broaden significantly. We'll need cross-functional positions as well as technicians and engineers to engage in manufacturing roles as well as mission operations and service deployment. It’s really an exciting time to join E-Space SAS.