Scanway – towards Poland’s first observation satellite
From a student project to a major company in Polish space market – this is the history of Scanway in a nutshell. Already as a student, Jędrzej Kowalewski, company founder, chose laser systems and vision observations as his major area of study. As a doctoral student on an internship at the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany he, however, came to a conclusion that he would pursue his goals best not through scientific activity, but by starting his own company. This is how his first company, Siviso, was founded.
A space drill
In the meantime, together with other young people from the Wrocław University of Science and Technology, he implemented a student project called FREDE, the object of which was a pioneering study on the breakdown of CFCs in the stratosphere under the influence of UV radiation. He met a number of inspiring people. While conversing on the project and on their interests, they discovered that space is the passion they share. They decided to jointly take part in the Rexus/Bexus competition held annually by the European Space Agency (ESA), addressed to students interested in running experiments in space. Having analysed their own competences and capacities, and having confronted the analysis with ESA’s expectations, they concluded that they would like to apply for the project and present their idea to build a space drill. The idea was innovative and, at the same time, deeply rooted in industrial reality. They called it DREAM (DRilling Experiment for Asteroid Mining). Project documentation included a concept, visualisation and schemes. The project passed the stage of initial verification and, following necessary corrections, it was presented as a final concept at a meeting with ESA in Noordwijk, Netherlands, in December 2015. The committee was very enthusiastic with the presentation, and the project was accepted for implementation.