Fleet Space Technologies Director, Launch and US Operations Andrew Barton - Interview

Director, Launch and US Operations

Fleet Director Launch & US Operations Andrew Barton on Getting a 100-Strong Nanosatellite Constellation into Orbit in 3 Years

Leadership Monthly: What Growth Do You Expect for Fleet Space Technologies over the Next Few Years and How Do You See Its Markets Growing?

Andrew Barton: Our world is changing; we live in an era of high population growth, rapid resource depletion, increasing environmental challenges, rampant technological advancements, and unparalleled interconnectivity.

With this comes new challenges and opportunities, such as the need for improved food security, better access to clean water, and the ability to more accurately anticipate natural disasters. In order to accommodate these needs (both today and tomorrow) and build a strong, prosperous global community, we must prepare. This includes better use of data and the extension of services beyond metro hubs.

We see space as the solution.

We’re building a nanosatellite constellation that will essentially enable the world’s 75 billion devices to be ‘turned on’. As a result, remoteness will become a thing of the past. This will usher in a new industrial revolution, and connect parts of the globe that were previously out of reach.

Unlike most other space startups, what we're proposing is unique as our focus isn’t on connecting people, it’s on devices. By doing this we will improve global business efficiencies to transform industries like agriculture, logistics, mining, and oil and gas. Our vision is to enable businesses, enterprises and initiatives alike to better manage their resources, data, and investments, so that they can create more sustainable, environmentally friendly practices for the better of mankind and the earth.

We intend to get our 100-strong nanosatellite constellation into orbit in the next three years. To do this we need to grow our team and finalise our technology, quickly. 2017 is especially important for us. We’ve already closed our first major funding round. Next we plan to officially open our Adelaide office, extend our business partnerships, and manufacture our first nanosatellites — all ahead of our first launch in early 2018.

Beyond this, we plan to grow our business by bringing on the best and the brightest in the industry. We’re also keen to grow our customer base across industries, in all corners of the world.

The space industry has never been more competitive than it is today. The floodgates are open with ingenious and innovative technological advancements creating a cost efficient and viable industry, accessible to startups alongside industry and government heavyweights.

And yet, we’re just at the beginning of the journey. Space is the next frontier, the industry to watch. At Fleet, we know that immense change will occur in the next five years and we’re eager to be apart of it. We anticipate that even more space startups will be born — be it reusable rockets, nanosatellite and other low orbit technologies, or space travel advancements — fuelling the industry even further.

The biggest change? It won’t just be the race to get up into our orbit, it will be to go beyond earth to other planets. And we’ll be right there, helping pioneer the unknown.

Leadership Monthly: What Is the Experience of the Team Leading Fleet Space Technologies' Growth?

Andrew Barton: Our goal to develop the infrastructure that powers the next industrial revolution is ambitious and innovative. To get there, we need equally ambitious and innovative leaders. Leading Fleet’s charge to connect the world are business partners Flavia Tata Nardini, Matthew Tetlow, and Matt Pearson.

CEO, Flavia Tata Nardini, is a rocket scientist and space entrepreneur. She is helping to pioneer the Australian space industry with a lean, startup mentality. A former Propulsion Test Engineer at the European Space Agency, Project Manager at TNO, and co-founder of Launchbox, Flavia has her finger on the pulse when it comes to pushing a space agenda.

Dr. Matthew Tetlow is Fleet’s Chief Technology Officer, a leading satellite academic, a Project Lead on the SUSat CubeSat, and founder of Invor Technologies. He is currently also undertaking his PhD research at the Space System Institute in Germany.

Matt Pearson, Chief Operations Officer, is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for space and technology that pushes boundaries. Matt’s an expert in startup management, and systems and online product development. He is also passionate about STEM education in Australia.

Since founding Fleet in 2015, the three have done what seemed impossible — create a viable Australian space startup within the nascent industry of nanosatellites,