A combination of disruptive space innovations, blockchain/libonomy, revolutionary processes and critical business considerations
Space, with no end in its vastness, but at the low earth orbiting sphere enables us to facilitate and enhance the related functions and services on earth. We go to space not only to explore and discover new worlds but to position ourselves to explore, study and improve our wonderful Mother Earth.
Salient features of Green Aerospace:
• Disruptive technology and sustainability-driven from the drawing board, production to launching presenting industry’s and business’s best practices including undertaking global small satellite network or constellation.
• All-encompassing consideration of the business environment in full context to succeed.
• Sustainable, less costly, more cost-effective and efficient.
This article aims to look at Green Aerospace as a holistic, efficient, non-wastage, multi-pronged perfect storm of cutting edge of the universe technologies, including libonomy with strategic planning and SWOT analysis acting as conduit and wealth of revolutionary knowledge.
Libonomy is the enhanced version of the blockchain, being a digital distributed ledger decentralised, immutable and highly secured. Nearly all aspects are attributed to ‘green’. Problems and issues current or future plaguing the industry identified and potential suggestions for resolutions.
The revelations, postulations and suggestions here will continue to positively resonate as a quasi ‘blueprint’ even if the Green Aerospace complex is yet to be built. But that does not stop the Green Aerospace digital industrial complex from making its actual existence.
Considering the situation during the pandemic and beyond, there needs to be a global critical redesign for crucial progress. Key performance areas for efficacious Green Aerospace are as follows:
Business environment and considerations
It is imperative to note the disruptiveness of six global megatrends of impactful technology, demographic change, rapid urbanisation, economic power shift, climate change and resource scarcity to make long term goals and prepare for open talent economy. Green Aerospace sees the evolution and coining of Greenwave of Things (goT).
There is a need to study the industry’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT analysis), paving the way for strategic planning to avoid egregiously costly mistakes. Getting it wrong can be truly expensive.
Reduce long-term product cycle, which the aerospace industry is known for. Due to new technology and intense competition, Green Aerospace is compelled to see opportunity and push for faster, wiser, and less costly innovation. However, highly innovative startups face slow moving aviation certification, regulations, and international standards as obstacles.
With the multifold increase in the use of online communications and the advent of IoT, there are more opportunities for sharing and giving knowledge. The players are interconnected and interdependent.
This will naturally give rise to collaboration and the possible global network or constellation of small satellites. Ideally, there should be a worldwide network of satellites in the Asia Pacific green satellites constellation for optimum function and footprint coverage. And the constellation of satellites interdependently can work as ‘nodes’ for the productive operation of libonomy as part of the payload.
Dr Kayyali Mohamed, the founder of US KSF Space Foundation, added further insight on collaboration.
He said: “We usually have great channels with many countries in terms of cooperation with universities, colleges and schools to promote our space activities with affordable prices, especially for developing countries.
“This is one of the greatest things we are achieving in comparison with other aerospace companies seeking profitable business only. Because we are a non-profit organisation, we aim to expand the knowledge and know-how of the space industry to universities and schools.”
The availability of investments for Green Aerospace may take it to territories not explored before because if the industry could be rated as efforts to be sustainable and ESG compliant, the industry can enjoy other types of funding. These can be ESG related funds, SRI and impact investments.
Green Aerospace inception processes for its products in R&D utilise the industry’s best practices in its agile war room brainstorming, use of AI for product development processes, Virtual Reality via AR and IR in product design, taking designers to complex and out of this world realms.
Many space innovations have made their way into our lives, from cellphones, LASIC to invisible braces. Green Aerospace undertakes to ‘consciously carry out parallel or collateral R&D in tandem with another research on space innovation to not miss out on the opportunity to expand the invention to terrestrial use.
Operations and products
Other than doing its innovations, Green Aerospace will utilise innovations by others, including waiting for the day when rocket fuel is made from water. Among the features of Green Aerospace operations and products other than being efficacious are aimed to be less costly, cost-effective and avoid wastage.
Libonomy enabled satellites are in the smaller but compact range called cube or small satellites going into low earth orbiting (LEO). There will also be a range called ‘green satellites’ made of wood now still being developed in Japan.
These wooden satellites will burn themselves out upon entry once they reach expiry and avoid space junks. A company uses giant balloons to help send satellites to space, cutting down on rocket and fuel at least by 80 per cent. A rocket with a satellite will blast into space after the former ‘hitched’ a ride with the balloon.
It is a given that production will use renewable energy and also green hydrogen. Manufacturing in Green Aerospace industry entails using production’s best practices by harnessing Green Lean project management with links with a resilient supply chain.
Follow the processes and production methods used in the automotive industry. There are nimbler methods for building satellites using libonomy and AI. This includes the unprecedented ability to take satellites out of the production line and promptly repurpose them to create a first to market advantage.
Libonomy is used to do traceability on the materials to fulfil sustainability when procurement is done. Tracking the satellite supply chain entails the transfer and trust of all suppliers during each phase of procurement, production, testing, and launch. There will be a consensus of suppliers on changes made. Hence, transparency is paramount.
3D or additive manufacturing will help in efficacious production. The plethora of benefits includes design and print of more complex designs than traditional manufacturing processes, cost-effective, easy access, rapid prototyping, print on demand strong and lightweight parts, fast design and minimising waste.
Business model —Satellite-as-a-service
Besides applying the above best manufacturing practices for its use, Green Aerospace, through collaboration, can provide satellite-as-a-service like how we are using smartphones and top boxes for TV.
Other than the conventional use of satellites for collecting data on climate change or enhance internet connectivity and speed, a libonomy-enabled satellite that has libonomy applications in space is fertile ground for exponential growth and unprecedented new service capabilities.
Libonomy in satellites creates transparency, competency and trust in the satellite value chain. Smart contracts for the launching process, monitoring space and satellite operations, and getting access to transparent information for insurance are among the services.
Executing governmental functions, especially with libonomy, can never be seen as a redundant payload.
Green Aerospace entry into the industry
Green Aerospace entry into the market may be seen as a disruptor in the industry with a proliferation of startups encouraged to come forth with disruptive innovations and technologies.
On the other hand, the incumbent conventional companies have the edge of being reliable in their stability and experience in the business and are much preferred by institutional customers.
Green Aerospace can make an impactful presence by going for a hybrid approach to have the agility of startups and stability of large incumbent companies.
Also to use in the long term to take measures such as using reusable launches, which cut costs to 50 per cent and balloons to help deliver satellites not only to operate cost-effectively and cut costs but also exercise sustainability.
Dr Kayyali was upbeat about the ‘greening’ activities happening in the various industries worldwide.
He said: “Green Technology is the future and fundamental approach to all industries, not only for aerospace. We are in future collaboration to develop a green technology to be used in our small satellite systems. It should also be launched into space using a green rocket with one of our partners in the US.”
As one can deduce from this article, the Green Aerospace programme is a microcosm covering and committed to all the ideals of sustainability encapsulated in one entity. — @green
Zulkifli Ahmad is the founder of ESG Vision, a think tank advocating ideas and actions on sustainability. He is also a member of KSF Space Foundation USA and ICC’s Chambers Climate Change.