GSaaS Brings New Dimension To Growing Space Industry in India

GSaaS Brings New Dimension To Growing Space Industry in India

In another first, SIA-India held a conference aimed at highlighting and deliberating upon the issues around the way forward for the Ground Station industry in the Indian landscape. Opening up of this segment will not only open up the sector to satellite operators but also to independent earth station operators while creating an additional boost to the manufacturing of the ground segment and forge foreign collaborations.

The mention of new space brings up images of Launch vehicles, satellites and payloads. However, the operation of these satellites relies on communicating with effective ground segments. Specific engineering needs accompany the ground station requirement. Still, like different segments of space infrastructure, a lot goes beyond technology, including regulations, licenses, etc. Ground Station as a Service (GSaaS) enables satellite operators to focus on their core business and launch their businesses faster. The multi-tenant feature of GSaaS also amortizes cost components for operators while providing cutting edge integrations with security, data processing etc. Like any other infrastructure as a service model, the GSaaS providers also have pre-integrated solutions for these features and functionalities.

Dr Subba Rao Pavuluri, President SIA-India said "Ground segment is a critical link between the satellites and the earth stations, however it is a less addressed sector in India due to the fact that the requirement was limited earlier. The ground segment requirements today are quite different from conventional satellites that India was dealing with before which operated with a single wide beam spanning a large area and needed limited Ground segments for operation. A Capex high industry with long gestation periods like the Space sector where the ground segments hold a substantial part need a long term vision and timely policy decisions"

Shri K Rathnakara [Director Satellite program office, ISRO HQ] in his address said ‘The ground segment ecosystem is driven by technology innovation. For High Throughput satellite ground stations we need gateways to be shared by multiple users to reduce the cost of operations and have a commercially viable business model’

Shri Suneel Kumar, DDG Satellite [DoT] said 'the Govt is looking for ways to reduce the time frame for clearances'. This is a very critical aspect and will surely be welcomed by the industry, which presently finds the long drawn out process extremely cumbersome.  

A workshop, jointly hosted by TDSI, IEEE-SA and SIA-India on 'Standardization in ground Satellite Ground Segment' held as part of the conference had industry leaders had speakers from ISRO, DoT, NTIPRIT, Astrome technologies, TMT Law and Delft university.  The panel discussed the need, efforts and developments on Standardization and global harmonization that impact the Satellite Ground Segment.  The need to develop Standards for global harmonization that impacts the Satellite Ground Segment was deliberated upon. The panelists spoke about the sector needing to lay down the engineering standards for telecommunications in India.  India needs to work on open standards, generic requirements, interface requirements, service requirements and specifications for satcom products, services and networks to expedite the satellite broadband and narrowband connectivity in the country.

With speakers from ISRO, NTIPRIT, TSDSI, Inmarsat, KSAT, Intelsat, Hughes India, Telesat, RBC Signals, Astrome Technologies, Dhruva Space, SSC Space, Delft university, TMT law the conference truly covered all aspects of the ground segment from the Govt and Industry and academia perspectives. The Conference saw domestic and international speakers discuss issues that are intrinsically important to achieve the GOI targets of being a big player in the satellite ecosystem.  

“On behalf of the industry I thank the government for unleashing a number of path breaking space policy initiatives, the towering role played by ISRO in building strong footing for space sector industry, start-ups bringing innovation at par with other developed nations. New emphasis and new market creation will usher ground segment to grow and attract fresh investment and enhance employability” said Anil Prakash, DG, SIA-India

Besides national and global industry representation, delegates and guests from Government, Standard bodies and regulatory bodies attended this half-day conference. SIA-India will be releasing the recommendations that emerge from the deliberations of the conference as a report shortly.

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