A Fireside Chat with Victor Danchev from EnduroSat
This week, Space Talos, was fortunate enough to talk with Victor Danchev, the mission manager of EnduroSat, about their missions, their biggest challenges and their future plans.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background and about EnduroSat? Why did you choose to get into spacecraft designing?
I am a mission manager at EnduroSat. My background is in fundamental physics with a focus on numerical simulations. EnduroSat was founded in 2015. We are proud to have more than 150 systems in Space since then and our mission has remained the same throughout – empower humans to connect and progress through space technology.
I have always been interested in spacecraft engineering but if I had to pinpoint one main reason – it’s the chance to work as part of an interdisciplinary team and apply knowledge from many different branches of engineering and science.
What orbits are your missions most focused on? Does your work include deep space or interplanetary missions? If so, what are the biggest obstacles you need to tackle?
Our main focus is LEO like most SmallSats at the moment. We offer different inclination slots to our shared satellite customers, but the majority are SSOs with LTAN around noon which are quite good for applications such as imaging. So far, we’ve only had separate subsystems flying outside of LEO and I can’t share much more, but we have some interesting plans for complete spacecraft in the near future. Naturally, radiation can be a major hurdle outside LEO, but we’ve learned our lessons through testing.
In your opinion, what do you think are the greatest pain points or typical mistakes made in relation to radiation shielding?
Single points of failure are present in many of the standard designs. Sometimes a lot of protection effort goes to the main data handling, but some other critical systems cannot handle degradation or vice-versa.
Which project are you most proud of? Why is it important?
I am most proud of EnduroSat’ SPARTAN mission. The Shared Platform for Applied Research and Technology AffirmatioN (SPARTAN) is our flagship to prove the Shared Satellite architecture. Its purpose is to demonstrate that we can effectively remove all the burdens of infrastructure and satellite engineering for clients who simply want to fly their payload. It is one of many missions through which we aim to provide simple and cost-effective access to Space to all players in the industry.
Could you shed some light on your most significant challenges regarding in-space services? How did you manage to overcome them?
Working with diverse payloads (especially when these are prototypes) can be quite challenging from the integration and testing standpoint. When documentation is not fully available, you need to have good communication with the client. You have to make sure that you understand the payload hardware and software in advance in order to successfully integrate it. Another challenge is the legal side so getting documents ready on time is crucial.
What is EnduroSat planning for the future? Any exciting developments you would like to share?
After our two Shared Satellite launches this year, we’re planning to continue with quarterly missions from 2022. We already have the first clients booked for the Q1 mission and we’re very much looking to expand these missions’ capabilities in terms of orbits and resources. Stay tuned!
How can our readers support you?
Actually, I’d be happy to support all of the readers by helping them get to Space much quickly and more securely. Would be happy to get in touch and advise you on how to fly your own payload to orbit without worrying about the complex satellite value chain.
What advice would you give to new enthusiastic space entrepreneurs that want to join the space industry?
Dream big and don’t stop after the first (few hundred) “no”. Get on the market with a product or a service as soon as possible and fly it as soon as possible – a successful product in Space is worth a lot more than any business plan.
If you want to learn more about EnduroSat, you can contact them directly through their website!