Estonian startup Skycorp going after space industry patent

  • 2021-03-07
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - Estonian manufacturer of hydrogen powered drones and developer of aerial ecosystems Skycorp has sought a patent for a piece of control equipment for drones that will enable to set up an internet of drones in the future.

The technology is the first technology developed during participation in the Estonian business incubator of the European Space Agency (ESA BIC Estonia) that is about to be patented, ESA BIC Estonia and Tartu Science Park said in a press release. 

The new technology enables better communications, more precise forwarding of location data, and control over the device also when it has stopped working. This brings the dependability of equipment to a new level, simultaneously increasing safety and enabling new applications.

These functions at the same time are a prerequisite for drones performing various functions to be able in the future to safely move about in the airspace communicating between them via the internet of drones.  

Skycorp CEO Marek Alliksoo said that their idea got its start from the wish to create a comprehensive ecosystem with their hydrogen drones where communications and control channels have been made more reliable by means of the integration of multiple parallel systems. The goal is to ensure the device's safety and autonomy. 

"We noticed that simpler and more sophisticated drones alike sometimes go missing, and inspired by this, the new system is designed to suit all devices. We must all get on with one another in the aerial space and this is one of potential solutions," Alliksoo said.

Sven Lilla, coordinator for business development services at Tartu Science Park and promoter of ESA BIC Estonia, said he was glad that the companies participating in the incubation program think out of the box and test combinations of different technologies to achieve results.

ESA Business Incubation Centers (BICs), initiated by ESA's Technology Transfer Program Office (TTPO), work to inspire entrepreneurs to turn space-connected business ideas into commercial companies, and provide technical expertise and business-development support.

The principal mission of ESA BIC Estonia, which is the first of its kind in the Baltic countries, is to support and manage activities related to selection, support startups during the incubation phase, set up a "loan" scheme with a financial partner, administer the cash incentive from ESA and the local partners to the startups, and coordinate activities within the ESA BIC program.

In addition to an incentive funding of 50,000 euros and strong mentors, ESA BIC Estonia offers the possibility to reach potential investors and customers. The aim of the space business incubator located in Tartu and Tallinn is to help 20 Estonian space business startups make it to the international market during a period of five years.

The BIC Estonia consortium consists of seven partners: Tartu Science Park as the lead partner, and Tallinn Science Park Tehnopol, City of Tartu, City of Tallinn, University of Tartu with Tartu Observatory, Tallinn University of Technology, and Kredex.