Venture Risk Assessment
Innovative, proven, ready: Vaeros.
For more than five decades, The Aerospace Corporation has provided objective technical expertise, analysis, and assessments for global customers pursuing the most complex and innovative missions.
Vaeros, a division of The Aerospace Corporation, brings this rich resource of talent and technical capabilities to bear on multiple challenges in diverse, high-consequence environments.
Our commitment to 100-percent mission success translates into solutions and methodologies that assess and mitigate risk, and drive results, for agencies and organizations across a myriad of programs, applications, and technologies.
Risk assessment expertise.
At Vaeros, our approach to venture risk assessment is based on 50 years of knowledge, innovation, and space-mission experience.
Vaeros scientists, engineers, and program managers have worked consistently with the U.S. Air Force, NASA, NOAA, and numerous commercial and international customers to provide technical support in all aspects of space programs, satellite ventures, and nonspace technology development and deployment.
We apply rigorous and proven risk-assessment tools to examine schedule, cost, and technical risks. In addition, we can adapt these risk assessments to meet the needs of the following stakeholders/customers:
- Venture capitalists
- Venture underwriters and insurance providers
- Investment banks
- Government program interests
- Non-governmental organizations such as the World Bank, nonprofits, etc.
- Third-party reviewers
A new era of space.
The space industry is commercializing at an unprecedented rate. As government agencies focus on higher-risk space missions, more established functions (such as supplying the International Space Station, satellite-based Earth imaging, and communications) are transitioning over to the commercial sector.
Commercial companies such as SpaceX, DigitalGlobe, Google-Skybox, and Virgin Galactic are now providing space-based services in what was once the exclusive domain of government space agencies.
Vaeros has collaborated with companies such as NanoRacks, O3b Networks, and Iridium on a range of programs, and has its own 3D modeling and simulation environment and lab space for analyzing, testing, and costing new space technology and programs. Moreover, our scientists and engineers have actively engaged in the Operationally Responsive Space program (ORS)—a program designed to quickly develop, build, and place small satellites in space in a cycle of months, not years.
Vaeros grew from the traditional space sector where government-program space systems often require billons in funding for exquisite systems that require years to develop. However, we understand and are experienced working within the “new space” paradigm, where agile, smallsat concepts are “good enough” to meet a customer’s schedule and funding requirements.
New space venture risk assessments.
Our world-class technical staff and laboratories provide customers with an unparalleled capability to test, vet, and present an unbiased risk assessment of a new space venture. We have the resources and expertise to meet any space-related challenge across a broad spectrum of scientific and engineering disciplines. Further, Vaeros’ applicable expertise in small satellite propulsion, laser communications, control systems, thermal management, and electro-optical systems qualifies us to perform probabilistic-based risk assessments.
Investing in a new space venture can be a challenging task. It requires research, expertise, and most significantly, experience. Our modular risk assessment approach could involve the following steps. However, we often tailor and scale our approach to unique customer needs, funding, and schedule limitations.
Our services include:
Guidance that aids in the evaluation of startups prior to engagement. To promote and facilitate ongoing growth of new space investment, this service is free-of-charge. This level includes:
- A baseline list of technical and capability questions to identify the biggest challenges for the new space system
- The identification of areas for new technology development and innovation
- A set of questions that screens out riskier new space ventures
- An overview that provides the “big picture”
Level 1: Core Risk Evaluation
Core assessment for a proposed space system, with an emphasis on cost and schedule. This level includes:
- Challenge check
- High-level risk assessment for proposed space systems
- Expertise that focuses on key long-term space system design factors— risk, cost, schedule, regulations, and systems engineering‑that have the largest impact on the viability of a young space system
- Assessment of technical claims—defining what is needed for design to achieve goals
- Assisting the entrepreneur with a compelling concept to achieve a successful demonstration flight
Level 2: Critical Risk Assessment
Critical risk assessment and design review to mitigate risks before important milestones. This level includes:
- Challenge check and core risk evaluation
- High-level, in-depth risk assessment and mitigation planning across the space system, including payload, hardware, and software
- Detailed design review at critical development stages, identifying the key components for improvement—both technical and design—to avoid costly mistakes and project schedule disruption
- Opportunity for space system designers to consult with Vaeros experts in order to mitigate any problems or potential glitches that systems may face in areas such as attitude determination and control, astrodynamics, power systems, sensors, communications, and systems engineering
Level 3: Ensuring Success
Expert oversight to any or all parts of the entire new space system. This level includes:
- Challenge check, core risk evaluation, and critical risk assessment
- Expert consultation for venture space system designers in order to mitigate problems or potential glitches that their systems face
- Access to lab evaluation, anomaly resolution, testing, and maturation of proprietary technology
- Technology flight demonstration, prototyping, and technology transfer
- Expert consultation, providing tailored mission assurance
- Survivability, production planning, deployment, operations, ground systems, and maintenance consultation
Small Satellite Cost Model
The Small Satellite Cost Model (SSCM) is a parametric cost model that runs on any Microsoft Excel-supported platform.The latest version, SSCM14, estimates development and production costs of a small satellite bus for Earth-orbiting or near-planetary spacecraft. The model is based on an underlying database of actual, as-flown technical and cost data provided by spacecraft bus manufacturers.The model is available free-of-charge to eligible requestors, subject to review by the Aerospace Export Control Office.
Get additional information and insight.
There are many entrants in the new space market, yet only a few companies who have been at the forefront of technology development since the beginning. Vaeros harnesses extensive research, risk models, and data from more than 55 years of space systems engineering to provide a unique perspective and approach.Our interdisciplinary mix of scientists, engineers, and business experts welcome unique and complex challenges: to provide cost, technical, schedule, and programmatic risks–and to enable customer success.
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