Space Week interview with Krucial Co-Founder and CEO Allan Cannon

Space Week interview with Krucial Co-Founder and CEO Allan Cannon


This week marks World Space Week, a global event to “strengthen the link between space and society through public education, participation, and dialogue on the future of space activity using World Space Week as a focus”. 


Both Krucial co-founders worked in the space industry previously, and Krucial now looks to give organisations on the ground access to some of the space technology on orbit today. 

In this interview, Krucial Co-founder and CEO Allan Cannon shares some reflections on the state of the global space industry overall, where Krucial and its technology fits into that ecosystem, and predictions for the next stage of SatCom development.    


What is the current state of the global space industry?    

The space industry in Scotland and across the world is at a crucial and exciting point in its development. What we’re beginning to see is the democratisation of a sector that was previously the preserve of state actors and publicly funded institutions. Until the advent of SpaceX, few people would have heard of anyone else, let alone start-ups and smaller innovators, having the funding or confidence to launch satellites into space – but that’s where we’re at in 2022.  


Everyone knows that SpaceX is launching satellites into space – but how does Krucial fit in to the story, can we not just use Starlink or OneWeb satellites to get data?    

The space industry isn’t just rocket launches and space exploration. Downstream innovators, who use space technology to create applications and services to benefit organisations on the ground, focus heavily on leveraging satellites for a multitude of purposes.   


Krucial focuses on the infrastructure layer that enables industrial IoT (IIoT) for enterprises: we enable businesses to access space technology to get continuous and reliable data from anywhere in the world, regardless of existing communications infrastructure. We leverage multiple communication technologies at once, so when cellular is unavailable or weaker, satellite connection is automatically engaged.   


Our solution is a combination of hardware and software for seamless connectivity between smart devices and the cloud, and the packaging of data so it’s ready for satellite transmission. A satellite on orbit doesn’t provide enterprise-ready IIoT insights; an extra layer is required – which is us. Whether using cellular or satellite connectivity, our infrastructure layer makes data ready for use by businesses and organisations anywhere and at any point in time.    

Put simply, our target is to make satellite constellations, which may seem abstract to businesses, work in a way that can improve how they do things – we want to make technology that solves problems. Value for most organisations doesn’t come from the satellite infrastructure itself but from the data and insights that the connectivity unlocks. We make it easy for enterprises to access that value from anywhere on earth.  


How can businesses utilise all this new space infrastructure?

New constellations of satellites now in operation means that more of the world is covered and, in low earth orbit, the connection available is faster than ever before. High bandwidth, low latency connectivity is the name of the game and can lead to improved business operations, safer working environments and a better understanding of our natural world.    


Krucial connects businesses to their mission-critical data by using that technology. Utilising satellites to enable digitisation of industries on the ground means a lack of connectivity infrastructure is no longer a hurdle. There should be no blind spots anywhere on earth. Our solution features dual connectivity protocols – so it will automatically connect to whatever is available, be it cellular or satellite.    


That data resilience will be invaluable to a whole host of industries going forward – from aquaculture to utilities to infrastructure.    


Take aquaculture as an example. With remote operations common, accessing data isn’t always straightforward – often staff must physically collect data, taking up time, increasing carbon footprint and yielding out-of-date information by the time it has been analysed. But using the Krucial solution, data can be collected and analysed continuously, remotely and reliably. More, better quality data will lead to quicker decisions being taken to safeguard fish welfare, improve sustainability and optimise processes overall.    


Satellite technology can be used to solve real world problems – we have a network of cellphone masts in space, so let’s use them.    


What challenges do businesses face in accessing space technology?    

The price of data over cellular networks was trending downwards even before the likes of Starlink and OneWeb arrived to increase the number of satellites in orbit so significantly. This is a huge opportunity for businesses in every industry, but the challenge most of them face is not being able to access that data easily and then translate it into something meaningful. More data is good, but it has to mean something, have a purpose and ultimately drive behaviour change. We need to make it easier to utilise space technology.   


What are your predictions for the space industry in the next few years?   

While most of us already use satellite technology (for example through GPS systems in our phones and smart watches), that technology will be used to connect to one another, both commercially and personally. As costs reduce, the potential of this technology will become more widely spoken about in mainstream media, and quick, reliable connectivity will become an expectation. We’re already seeing this with mobile phone networks and satellite companies linking up.  


Downstream businesses like ours will continue to innovate and grow – because without the distribution layer of the ecosystem, there’s a missing element connecting people on earth with satellites in space.   


The world is interconnected like never before, be it on an individual level – being able to speak to friends thousands of miles away using internet-enabled messaging apps, or on a commercial level – like collecting data from remote locations to make better business decisions. We’re fast approaching an environment in which constant connection, even in remote locations, is going to be a reality rather than an ambition. The opportunities are huge.    


Allan Cannon, Co-founder and CEO of Krucial.

If you want more information on how Krucial can enable the digitization of water basins, fill out the form below and one of the team will be in touch.

Recent Posts

Proud to be supported by