Safety first: Innovative applications of satellite technology

Safety first: Innovative applications of satellite technology

The BISS mission is based on the implementation of small sized but powerful satellites, called CubeSat, produced by IMT that can be launched in constellations of at least 3 and can complete a full rotation around the globe in less than 24 hours. This project sees the collaboration of five partners, working with a shared objective: to offer an energy-efficient, low-cost, end-to-end connectivity solution that informs users in real-time helping drive safety and efficiency across industries.

21 March 2022
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A comprehensive partnership

Fincons Group takes pride in investing in research into new technologies to discover innovative solutions to bring improvements to a number of industries. The most innovative aspect of the Bi-directional IoT Satellite Service BISS project is without a doubt the collaboration between University of Bologna’s Aerospace Research Centre and five Italian companies, from the manufacturing and software development sector, which lays the ground for its ample future application opportunities. The main partner is IMT (Engineering Marketing Technology), a satellite manufacturer specializing in CubeSat. They collaborate with ProEsys, a IoT sensors provider, LeafSpace, specialized in next gen Ground Station Networks, D-Orbit, that will cover launch and deployment, and Fincons Group, charged with software and business model development.

Road maintenance, safety and infrastructure monitoring

One of the most unique features of this innovative, collaborative approach to satellite monitoring is that it can be adapted to a wide range of sectors. While the basic structure stays the same, sensors, algorithms and dashboards can be tailored to each client’s specific needs.

Possible applications can in fact be found in both public and private sectors. For example, satellite data can be instrumental in monitoring infrastructure, such as bridges, motorways and railways, to identify and predict structural problems as well as scheduling maintenance more efficiently and with less disturbance to citizens

Water, gas and electricity suppliers can also benefit from IoT sat solutions implementation, as these can help prevent and minimize aqueducts and pipeline leaks, avoiding the loss of precious resources and even averting the risk of major environmental damage.

A structured approach to innovation

The BISS mission is going to develop in four distinct but organic phases.

  • Phase A focuses on the mission statement, planning, development and initiation, system requirements, as well as the management and system engineering plan development and will end with a System Requirement Review meeting.
  • Phase B entails the implementation of what defined during phase A, hardware philosophy definition, schedule and system requirements delineation, preliminary relevant technology design and a preliminary study to tailor the Ground Segment Phase B will end with a Preliminary Design Review meeting.
  • Phase C includes detailed parts design, test development models (DM), interface development, COTS components procurement, procedure drafting for Assembly, Integration, Verification and Testing, a user manual drafting and ground infrastructure software development. A Critical Design Review will end this phase.
  • Phase D will see the implementation and subsequent qualification of low TRL (EQM) devices, Ground Infrastructure functional tests and related reports. During this phase the flight model (PFM) will be developed and tested. Further tests will be conducted to make sure all components are flight-ready, and the solution can be properly delivered. Phase D will be followed by the Qualification and Acceptance Review (QAR).

Ready to use data and analytics

Together with ProEsys, Fincons Group is part of the Service Provider team that has the objective of collecting the data processed through Ground Stations and deliver it, ready-to-use, to end-users via web applications.

While ProEsys will provide the Network Server, Fincons will develop the Application Server, designed with an eye to the multiple communication technologies currently in use in Cloud Computing, Big Data & Analytics and IoT. It will also implement TCP/IP based architectures. Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence will also allow predictive maintenance and activities enabling infrastructure planners to intervene before public safety is compromised with planned maintenance work.

In addition to this, Fincons will be responsible for research, analysis, definition and validation of innovative business models related to the new platform. This includes analyzing Space Economy trends, needs, standards and regulation, state-of-the-art semantic interoperability and cross-sector innovation processes, as well as identifying a baseline scenario for the IoD mission.

Fincons will deliver reports on the reference market analysis, on the IoD User Scenario, on possible Trade-offs, and will contribute to the Mission Description Document.

Step into the future with Fincons and BISS

While the integration between IoT and satellites is not innovative per se, the BISS mission has a unique approach to it. Based on the close collaboration between key players and the use of CubeSat satellites, this project sets a precedent for powerful, low-cost solutions that still guarantee a global coverage.

Antonio De Girolamo
Fincons Group
Director of Solutions & Business Development, Business Unit Manufacturing. Talent Outreach & University Relations Coordinator