SAN FRANCISCO — Mikhail Kokorich was making ready to review aerospace engineering in Moscow when the collapse of the Soviet Union pressured an finish to his plans.
“On the time, life in Moscow was very tough,” Kokorich stated. “I got here from a fairly poor household. We didn’t have cash for me to remain in Moscow.”
As an alternative, Kokorich determined to return to Siberia and give attention to nuclear physics, a self-discipline he may examine near residence.
Greater than 20 years later, Kokorich is as soon as once more engrossed in engineering as founder and president of Dauria Aerospace, Russia’s first one hundred pc privately owned and operated satellite tv for pc manufacturing firm. With places of work in Munich; Skolkovo, Russia; and Mountain View, Calif., Dauria plans to deploy a fleet of small satellites to supply world Earth commentary and communications providers.
“We see nice potential to create an organization like a brand new Lockheed Martin or a brand new Boeing,” Kokorich stated. “This shall be a global firm with Russian roots that may function a bridge between america and Russia. Area is likely one of the few areas the place cooperation between Russia and america could be very robust.”
Kokorich’s enterprise success is well-known in Russia, the place he established a house merchandise retail chain and led the restructuring of a serious shopper electronics vendor. That observe file has helped Dauria entice traders.
Dauria Aerospace at a Look
Based: April 2012
Prime Official: Mikhail Kokorich, founder and president
Staff: Greater than 100
Areas: Skolkovo, Russia; Munich; Mountain View, Calif.
Mission: To develop and manufacture a brand new technology of low-cost, small satellites.
Preliminary funding for the enterprise got here from Kokorich and his co-founders, together with Manfred Krischke, former founder and managing director of Germany’s Earth imaging pioneer RapidEye. In October, Dauria introduced its first outdoors funding: $20 million from I2BF World Ventures. Though New York-based I2BF was established in 2007 to give attention to clear know-how and associated disciplines, its mandate has expanded lately to supply funding for companies, together with some within the former Soviet Union, searching for to enhance useful resource utilization.
“Dauria was centered on numerous the identical merchandise in that sector we have been specializing in — microtechnology, cubesats — however what set Dauria aside was their distinctive strategy within the functions house,” stated Ilya Golubovich, I2BF World Ventures founding associate.
Particularly, Golubovich was impressed by plans for a Dauria spinoff, CloudEO, a cloud-based platform developed and led by Krischke. CloudEO is designed to supply a central hub the place satellite tv for pc imagery might be saved and accessed by functions builders, geospatial information customers and repair suppliers. “It turns into a type of apps retailer for all issues satellite tv for pc imaging,” Golubovich stated.
I2BF additionally sees robust worth in Dauria’s worldwide group. “Frankly, I believe they’re the one true house startup that’s working in Russia and making an attempt to attract expertise from all the massive authorities establishments which have traditionally dominated that sector on this nation,” Golubovich stated. “That appeared fairly thrilling to us, seeing a startup faucet into the distinctive experience of NASA, the European Area Company and likewise from Roscosmos and its associated establishments.”
Dauria established its company headquarters in Munich and satellite tv for pc improvement facilities in Skolkovo, a high-technology enterprise space on the outskirts of Moscow, and NASA Ames Analysis Park in Mountain View, Calif.
“There’s a geographic technique behind this firm,” stated Richard David, chief government of NewSpace World, an info providers firm. “Every one of many places has potential advantages: to succeed in markets, know-how, launch providers, engineers, traders.”
Having a footprint in Russia gives the agency entry to Russian know-how in addition to engineers and technologists whose salaries are roughly one-third as excessive as these of U.S. engineers and technologists. As well as, the corporate has entry to Russian funding sources and engaging pricing agreements for house launch providers, Kokorich stated. Dauria cast Russia’s first non-public partnership settlement with Roscosmos and Lavochkin, producer of the Fregat higher stage, Kokorich stated.
All these components are designed to assist Dauria hold prices low for its small satellites, that are anticipated to weigh between 10 and 100 kilograms, Kokorich stated. As well as, Dauria has fashioned a partnership with Samsung Electronics to attract on the agency’s industrial communications experience to help its efforts to construct low-cost small satellites and related floor help infrastructure.
Dauria and Samsung introduced plans in October to collectively develop Russia’s first non-public satellite tv for pc, Dauria Experimental (DX)-1, which is predicted to price roughly $3 million and can check the usage of industrial communications tools, know-how and software program to create a technology of low-cost, standardized, small satellites.
Samsung plans to equip Dauria’s satellite tv for pc management heart with high-definition televisions, laptop computer computer systems and printers.
Whereas serving as a know-how demonstration, the DX-1 spacecraft is also designed to carry out an operational position. Will probably be the primary in a constellation of deliberate satellites to supply identification and navigation help for ocean ships and river vessels, Kokorich stated. In December, Dauria introduced an settlement with Russia’s Transport Ministry and Federal Company of Maritime and River Transportation to launch three small satellites to supply space-based monitoring for ocean ships and river vessels.
Dauria’s web site advertises 4 satellite tv for pc designs: Sagitta, a spacecraft outfitted for distant asset monitoring and management; Perseus, a moderate-resolution Earth imaging spacecraft designed to function in a constellation; Pyxis, a polar-broadband communications satellite tv for pc; and Auriga, an Earth commentary craft designed to supply multispectral imagery for useful resource monitoring, precision agriculture and different change-detection functions.
Many of the satellites Dauria is scheduled to launch in 2014 weigh barely greater than 10 kilograms, together with two small satellites scheduled to fly on a Russian-Ukrainian Dnepr rocket in April and the DX-1 spacecraft slated for launch onboard the Russian Soyuz/Fregat rocket anticipated to hold Russia’s Meteor-M2 climate satellite tv for pc into orbit. The Soyuz/Fregat flight, initially scheduled for December, has encountered delays attributable to points with the first payload. In 2014, Dauria additionally plans to launch two small satellites carrying photo voltaic sail experiments into orbit for the Planetary Society, a Pasadena, Calif.-based advocacy group.
Attracting U.S. and European prospects is a vital aspect of Dauria’s marketing strategy as a result of Russian demand for space-based functions includes a tiny fraction of the worldwide market.
“We positively don’t work solely with Russian prospects,” Kokorich stated. “In actual fact, we now have as a lot exercise in america as we now have in Russia, and plenty of initiatives originate in america.”