Return to the Floor: SpaceComm Expo ’23

After a longer-than-lockdown hiatus from expos, meetings, events, I returned to SpaceComm Expo this week wearing my Goonhilly Earth Station hat. And wow the sector has changed: people are younger, there are twice as many of them, about 20% more companies, and a lot of noise and hype.

What has really changed? AI isn’t as niche: ML has been used for years for cloud removal from EO products and for scheduling: companies in both were very visible. (Check for example Aspia Space). Project management challenges are acknowledged, though still poorly understood: the Association for Project Management had a stand having recognised this opportunity/lack in the sector.

Sustainability, or “Clean Space”, is no longer just an annual workshop, but is core business for multiple competing companies trying to mitigate debris in LEO and GEO, with ADR (Active Debris Removal) missions flying in the next couple of years (Astroscale, ClearSpace, D-Orbit). Underpinning that effort are new parts, propulsion technologies (e.g. Astromagnetics) , fuels and ‘demisable’ concepts that support intentional de-orbiting at end of life.

A spaceport has come, and gone (Spaceport Cornwall), in the time since my last expo. Another is on the way (Saxavord).

Why is this interesting to Systemlevel? The speed of change, of decisions, and responsiveness has radically changed in a sector that is famously unresponsive and risk averse. How are system impacts being assessed? Or even just modelled, if not yet understood?

If you want to find out how well your company and your team understand your own strategy, ask us for a workshop session. If you need to change your responsiveness and accelerate your decision processes, lets work together to find out what the barriers are – so they can be lowered.

A final thought, after hearing discussion about a prominent software failure. Spoiler alert: its never software, its always human factors. Its always a failure of imagination. Do you spend time training your team to improve and manage their imagination? Consider the value of this, then get in touch.