April 25, 2023

REVOLV: Revolutionizing Small Satellites

Delft-based startup Revolv Space has developed a groundbreaking solution for small satellite operations, offering up to double the amount of power from solar panels. The team's inaugural product, SARA (Solar Array Rotary Actuator), includes a mechanism for autonomous sun tracking and has already received several awards.

The Noordwijk-based startup Revolv Space is on a mission to make satellite operations more continuous by rethinking the critical components that are on small satellites. The biggest limitation for small satellites is currently the available power, but with their inaugural product, SARA (Solar Array Rotary Actuator), the team has developed a solution to generate double the amount of power from the solar panels. They managed to do this by inventing a mechanism that enables the rotation and autonomous tracking of the sun.

SARA is a plug-and-play module and can be scaled to different satellite sizes easily. It includes the mechanism, together with the sensors, the electronics, and the control logic, making it an autonomous system onboard the satellite. SARA is the only solution that guarantees the reliability of fixed solar panels with the performance of rotating solar panels, thanks to the patent-pending backup mechanism that the team has designed.

SARA is tailored to the needs of small satellite manufacturers producing satellite constellations, as the team has kept ease of manufacturing and assembling in their design philosophy. They can benefit greatly from SARA, as it offers numerous advantages, including up to double more power per orbit and up to 20% more pictures for Earth Observation satellites.

The idea for rotating solar panels for small satellites was first conceived two years ago by the founders Aleksander, Filippo, Marco, and Michal, who were students pursuing a MSc in Aerospace Engineering at Delft University of Technology. Their goal was to create components for small satellites that would maximize service uptime. After becoming full-timers in September of 2022, they successfully designed a subsystem, validated the market, and grew their team to seven members. Their innovative solution has been recognized with several awards, including the TU Delft Impact contest, the NewSpace Europe pitch competition, and the stamp of approval of ESA BIC.

For the Graduate Entrepreneur Pre-seed fund, the investment in Revolv is a shrewd move to diversify our portfolio. The space sector is a fascinating area for us due to its immense possibilities and numerous opportunities for the future. We are particularly impressed by Revolv's energetic, technically strong, and youthful team, as well as their inventive product development and well-established partnerships. Given the tremendous potential for growth demonstrated by Revolv, we are eagerly anticipating the realization of their mission to improve the effectiveness of satellite operations.

Revolv will use the investment from Graduate Entrepreneur to bring the product to TRL 7, close the partnerships in the making, and continue working closely with the first users of their product. Along with co-investor Takeoff, the support of ESA BIC Noordwijk and PLNT Leiden, we are looking forward to supporting Revolv as they forge the path forward in the space industry!

Marco: "We started working with Graduate around one year ago and their team has been supporting us with more than just money. Their network of mentors and partnerships has provided Revolv with competent support while we were making the first steps as a company. We now finally have the chance to celebrate this milestone: the whole team has worked hard towards this and it’s great to see our efforts recognized. We are excited because we see a strong path forward!"

To learn more about Revolv, visit their website at https://www.revolvspace.com/