Precious Payload solves three different space-as-a- service challenges - Steam Jet - Case Studies by Precious Payload

Steam Jet

Precious Payload solves three different space-as-a- service challenges

The market is rapidly moving towards space-as-a-service and the hosted payload model as the standard way to get to space. It seems to be the solution to all problems, but it tends to create one of its own—proprietary issues. In multi-stakeholder space projects with different engineering approaches, everyone needs to be transparent with their module development and integration, and at the same time keep trade secrets safe.

Common challenges working with hosted payload projects

Security confidentiality and trade secret risks

Space is a highly competitive scene. When working with hosted payload providers in the mission management phase, you run the risk of giving away virtually all of the data and trade secrets used to create your payload.

Inflexible remanifestation

With hosted payloads, you don't have the flexibility to rebook. Unlike working with a cubesat, you cannot jump to the next launch if something happens to your project. Other payloads are strongly integrated with yours, so all passengers will be affected in case of any error or delay. Therefore, you need to be ready for the scheduled date—there are no options to re-manifest.

The complexity of co-integration

The other co-manifested payloads on a hosted payload are quite literally in the same boat as you. No one wants to share all the details about their technology, so collaborators aren’t aware of the requirements and specifications for projects on a shared bus.

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About SteamJet

SteamJet is a UK-based company dedicated to the advancement of space innovation through propulsion. Small satellites have become essential tools for operating in space. But without the ability to propel themselves, these satellites are sitting ducks, unable to avoid collisions with other space objects or maintain their orbital altitude, especially at very low Earth orbit. That's where SteamJet comes in.

The company has designed a high-performance, electrothermal propulsion system specifically for small satellites and cubesats. Unlike electric, chemical, or cold-gas propulsion systems, they use low-pressure water as the main propellant. The water-powered thruster is safe to use and easy to integrate into any platform. Its low voltage and the absence of ionized particles make it ideal for both telecommunication and optical payloads.

The Situation:

SteamJet came to Precious Payload in early 2020 for help with managing the development and integration of their propulsion module with a new 12U modular satellite project. The project was run by a Gulf region governmental entity, with other parties also engaged. Participating in this project would greatly increase their technology readiness level and serve as an important step for the qualification of SteamJet’s clean, hydro-powered propulsion subsystem.

results:

Saved more than 670* engineering hours

Based on an average of three engineers (one for each party) Precious Payload’s service drastically cut the time hosted payload consortium spent analyzing technical documentation (complex drawings, engineering data), distributing the requirements between the project’s parties, and other tedious tasks.

Condensed communications to 1 hour per week

Precious Payload’s team created an efficient communication channel between multiple parties. We organized information in a structured, easy-to-access format for all project members to minimize unnecessary communications on the project.

Reduced the risks related to deadlines and trade secrets

Meeting deadlines and safeguarding trade secrets are key to maintaining a hosted payload project. If you don’t submit your deliverables on time, your co-passengers can lose faith in your ability to fulfill your commitments. Using Precious Payload service allows for transparency with your providers so you can co-manifest payloads without giving away your trade secrets.

Hire us as your mission manager for your hosted payload project

How we did it

The project was on a tight schedule, as the launch was scheduled for late 2022. Precious Payload was required to quickly come up with the most efficient way to manage the development, testing, and integration of a complex engineering system. Precious Payload's mission management software helps manage every detail of a payload mission. We also provided a dedicated mission manager for the project to keep everyone in sync on the current delivarables on a weekly basis.

Features used

  • Payload Data Room:

  • List payload specifications using common syntax that is easily translated into interface control documentation and testing requirements when working with hosted payload providers.

  • View for hosted payload projects

  • We create templates for hosted payload interface control documents, and fill them in using customer’s payload data room. Sharing only the information that is necessary for the technical requirements negotiations keeps the trade secrets safe. We call this feature Views — a shared encrypted collaboration space for distributed teams working on a same payload project.

  • Audit trail and changelog

  • Know-our-client (KYC) profile is attached to the View alongside the automatic Non-Disclosure Agreement a supplier signs upon accessing the View. A View creator has full visibility and an audit trail with which users can access the information in a View. Every login is authorized via a one-time code sent to a verified mobile number for maximum security.

Solution

Precious Payload’s tools enable all stakeholders of the co-manifested payloads of a hosted payload project to be on the same page while not sharing any confidential data:

  • Payload.ctrl allows you to manage mission details and requirements between the suppliers.

  • Launch.ctrl allows you to work with hosted payload providers.

You can share and receive critical information with other passengers without compromising your secure data and trade secrets. Whether it’s your power consumption budgets or implementation strategy, you can safely be on the same page with all participants of a hosted payload project.

Hire us as your mission manager for your hosted payload solution

Case studies

Kicking off a quantum key distribution satellite mission in space using Precious Payload software

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Using Precious Payload tools to redesign mission architecture, get funding, and land first paying customer

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