Interview with Prachi Kawade, RA of Aerospace & Defense at Frost & Sullivan on Space & Satellite Mega Constellations
RA of Aerospace & Defense at Frost & Sullivan
For today’s episode of UAV Interview Series, we have an intelligent woman representing one of the top space market research companies in the world. She goes by the name Prachi Kawade and is a Research Analyst, Aerospace & Defense with Frost & Sullivan.
This company needs no introduction with over 40 offices on six continents. Jacqui Holmes (Marketing and Communications Consultant) was kind enough to arrange this interview smoothly and as planned with Prachi.
In this interview, we talk in-depth with Prachi about Frost & Sullivan’s backstory and what will a 12000 satellite mega constellation do.
This exclusive interview is an excellent addition to our series because it is not often we get to go one-on-one with experts in the space industry and gain knowledge directly from their experience.
If you feel the same, this interview is for you, so keep reading!
Introduce yourself to our readers?
Hi, Everyone! This is Prachi Kawade. I am a Research Analyst, Aerospace & Defense with Frost & Sullivan.
How did you get started in the aerospace industry?
I was always interested in space, from my school days, and curious to learn more. So, to start with, I did my Bachelors in Aeronautical Engineering. Then I did my Master’s in Space Studies through the International Space University (ISU), where I did my internship with Physical Research Laboratory.
As a kid, I was always keen on the technical aspects of space. But, being at ISU, I learned about my interest in the business side of space, i.e., space markets. Here, I am working with Frost, trying to understand and analyze the market trends in space.
Tell us about your company, what it is?
Frost & Sullivan is a market research & growth consulting company. Our space program was initiated with the analysis of a small satellite market. From then onward, we have expanded our scope to value-added services, i.e., geospatial, navigation, and SATCom (IoT & M2M services).
Who are most of your clients, or your most common types of projects?
Our clients are key commercial entities and government agencies. UK space agency, Airbus, Telespazio are among our clients. The common type of projects that we work on is ranging from understanding the spaceport opportunities to the economic impact of space-based services. We have the expertise to deliver client-based consults focusing on mega-constellations and downstream value-added services.
What will a 12,000 satellite mega constellation do?
The 12,000 satellite mega-constellations is called starlink, by SpaceX. As per the United Nations, about 4 billion people are under-served in terms of access to the internet. And to serve these gap companies like SpaceX, OneWeb, etc. have announced Low-Earth Orbit constellations. The 12,000 satellite constellation is mainly to provide connectivity to unserved and under-served markets.
What are the benefits of spreading the satellites across more orbits?
Based on the beam width and the footprint to be covered on earth, the orbital location is decided and related to that the mission is planned. So, when we are spreading the satellites across orbits, the footprint covered on earth, i.e., region to which connectivity is provided varies. As a result, spreading the satellites across orbits will increase the coverage on earth’s surface.
SpaceX vision is to dominate all dimensions of transportation on and off the planet. Is it a sign of more greatness?
If we are looking at SpaceX and related companies by Elon Musk, they have captured the transportation market in all dimensions. But, the main objective in the case of these is to progress towards a sustainable source of energy and increase the accessibility to transportation at lower costs.
In the case of SpaceX’s Falcon 9, the cost of launch is reduced to $5000/Kg. It was an ideal cost of launch a few years ago, and the average price was about $25,000/Kg. It is a significant achievement. However, all of this is to increase accessibility and reduce the cost.
In the future, how much of an impact do you think mega-constellations will have on our everyday lives?
The impact of mega-constellations will be significant. When we are talking about constellations for connectivity, we observe that all the regions that are under-served like regions in Africa are the key target markets for the SATcom players. And, we can expect the gap to be filled by the mega-constellations.
So, we will see the transformation in terms of further digitization of services in all under-developed and developing countries due to ease of accessibility to the internet. Connectivity will impact not only the media and network industry but also disaster management activities, tele-education, and telemedicine. It will be a significant enabler of growth across nations.
What advances in drone/space technology are you excited about?
I am excited about the implications of IoT-based services provided by small satellite constellations. And, at the same time, the new building supply chain for deep space missions and space mining are exciting to explore and follow through.
Is there anything else that we haven’t touched on that you would like to share?
Check out Frost & Sullivan on the web!
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