Space Awareness

Saber Astronautics Gains Space Certification from the Space Foundation

Written by: developer

Leading space venture Saber Astronautics has received Certified Space Technology™ status from the Space Foundation for its innovative operations software. The software, called the Predictive Ground Station Project (a.k.a., “PIGI”), uses video game technology to enable people to create their own missions and operate large numbers of satellites with very little training.

The commercial space industry is expected to grow rapidly over the next 10 years, mainly due to advances in small satellites. Once the realm only of large multinational companies and government agencies, modern small satellites are produced very cheaply, enough for entrepreneurs, hobbyists and students to get involved. Small satellites are producing images and data useful to industries here on Earth, such as agriculture, mining and banking, and at costs well within the range of traditional startup seed funding. Some of Saber’s customers, for example, include satellites funded for less than $150k on a Kickstarter campaign.

“That’s less than half the cost of a juice-bar franchise,” said Dr. Jason Held, Saber Astronautics’ Director and CEO. “The ‘do-it-yourself’ movement is getting involved, many of whom are solid engineers, have always wanted to try space, but aren’t traditionally trained in space engineering. They often do well with developing the satellite, but can struggle with the outdated operational tools, many of which are text based and hard to learn.”
The PIGI project closes that gap, enabling people to rapidly experiment with new concepts. A private Alpha release was completed in September and is now available to the general public.  Saber also organized a range of space entrepreneurship workshops in the USA, Australia and the EU, where undergraduate students designed their own missions. Some of these teams are earning cash prizes, with one team even raising Series-A funding based in part from results of the software. “Our aim is the democratization of space,” said Dr. Held, “where anyone, regardless of background, can bring their innovation, ideas, and talent to market.”

“Predictive Ground Station Project is a uniquely ingenious product, combining space technology and elements of education. We’re happy to welcome Saber Astronautics into the Space Certification program,” said Kevin Cook, Space Foundation Vice President — Marketing & Communications.

About Space Certification
Space Foundation builds awareness of the benefits of space through its Space Certification program, which demonstrates how space technologies improve life on Earth and makes space more interesting and accessible to everyone. Products and services that display the Space Certification seal are guaranteed to have stemmed from, or been dramatically improved by, technologies originally developed for space exploration, or to have significant impact in teaching people about the value of space utilization.

About Saber Astronautics
Saber Astronautics’ mission is to reduce barriers to space flight, making it more accessible to people on Earth. Saber’s Predictive Groundstation Project (PIGI) is a next-generation space mission control software developed by an experienced team of space operations, systems control, ux, and robotics experts. PIGI brings together the latest techniques in human factors, artificial intelligence and dynamic 3D data visualization to make it easy for spacecraft operators to monitor, fly and rapidly diagnose faults in spacecraft systems.

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This article is part of Space Watch: January 2017 (Volume: 16, Issue: 1).