Coming within the Scope
A reality of present-day humanity if followed by technologies facilitating the daily routine. That was a dream for the previous generations just 30–50 years ago. Only the number of electric vehicles reached a record high of 4M cars and the fifth million is just around the corner. Technological progress has been staggering and now those with a hunger for discoveries make our world safe and comfortable.
Max Polyakov is one of the people with such a pang of hunger. He was born and studied in Ukraine. In 2000, he graduated in higher medical school education and the degree of Candidate in Economics 13 years later.
Since 2011, Polyakov is in business creating and succeeding several companies. In 2012, he left Ukraine for the USA, Silicon Valley, and became the managing partner of the venture fund Noosphere Ventures Partners. It invests in developing innovative projects within technological branches of the economy. Over time, Noosphere Ventures’ interests have shifted from advertising technologies to the hardware and space industry.
Max Polyakov established a non-profit, public benefit organization Noosphere Association to develop science and innovation around the world including his native country. It aims to create conditions for synergistic relationships between science and business, start-ups mentoring and organizing activities designed to develop scientific activities.
The noosphere definition (translated literally from Greek “force of mind”) appeared from V. I. Vernadsky’s doctrine about biosphere and its evolution. According to his theory, the noosphere is the evolutionary state of the biosphere where human intelligence is the determinant.
Max Polyakov supports Vernadsky’s doctrine about Noosphere. He believes that researchers, engineers, and innovators are able to change the world fundamentally with the aid of their own knowledge and technologies.
Noosphere – Moving Up NES
In 2014, Noosphere Engineering School (NES) was founded – Noosphere’s joint project with the leading universities of Ukraine. Under this initiative, businesspersons share their practical experience with the students and the scientists give a theory. Such symbiosis between practice and theory allows laying a firm foundation for innovative thinking and its development. Now, NES contains 6 labs on the base of different faculties where the students develop and test their ideas and communicate with their mentors. The platforms encompass the following activity areas:
- Electronics and robotics;
- Production technology;
- Computer games development;
- IT-systems perspectives;
- Space systems and techs;
- Effective environmental management.
The innovative system for sports scores calculation eNavigator was created. It was successfully tested during a competition in air sports World Games 2017. The annual tournament is held under the aegis of the International Aeronautical Federation (FAI, Fédération Aéronautique Internationale). eNavigator accelerated the assessment of the achievements and data analysis remarkably and was approved by the FAI President on that ground.
It is worth noting that the cooperation between FAI and Noosphere lasts from 2015 and contains several stages. Hosted by FAI, Noosphere Association arranged the European Rocket Modeling Championship in 2015 and the World Championship in 2016. In February 2017, Noosphere Ventures and FAI signed a formal agreement dealing with a global technology partnership. In October that year, Max Polyakov was rewarded as an honorary Companion of the community for his great contribution to the development of the federation.
The mobile app MyPol was developed on the base of Max Polyakov’s engineering school. It became the official channel of communication between smartphone users and the law enforcement authorities of Ukraine. The app allows calling the police quickly via a SOS button on the screen, checking the crime situation in the region, and assessing the police officer’s activities entering his/her badge number.
One year after the successful startup of the engineering school, Max Polyakov and Noosphere launched the start-up EOS (Earth Observing System Data Analytics) – a platform for watching the Earth via remote sensing technology. The project was developed because of 160 experts work together in the field of geospatial analysis and software development. EOS platform is a very scalable cloud-based service to process a wealth of geodata. The innovative product can be applied in agriculture, metrology, and space industry.
The platform contains 4 tools:
- Land Viewer – software for online search, viewing, loading, and spectral analysis of satellite images.
- EOS Processing – a set of algorithms for processing, 3D -modeling, and analysis of satellite images with the using neural networks.
- EOS Vision – the app for geodata visualization and analysis.
- EOS Storage – cloud-based storage with the possibility of dissemination, viewing, and conversion.
Earth remote sensing (ERS) is one of today’s preferred methods beyond ground-based surveillance and aerial photography. The part of ERS within the geodata market is near 40% and increases by 15-20% with each passing year.
The growing demand for the new tech, as well as ease of use and user-friendly interface, helped the EOS platform receive widespread acceptance by ERS users. In 2017, EOS Data Analytics became the International Astronautical Federation member (AIF, headquarters in France). Once a certificate of membership was issued, AIF granted Max Polyakov’s company access to its partner network that helped him establish a firm position in the market.
NASA Space apps Challenge
EOS activity is not limited to business-project development. Over the past two years, the company representatives act as mentors of the regional stage of the annual international NASA hakathone Space apps Challenge in Dnipro. Both times, the event was arranged by Noosphere Association and was held on the Noosphere Engineering School’s territory.
The two-day marathon runs in dozens of locations around the world and unites more than 25 000 people from 69 countries. NASA gives the hackathone participants access to the data from space missions and spacecraft to use it for developing innovative solutions for the following space projects.
In the run-up to the first Dnipro challenge, Noosphere holds the entry event Data Bootcamp. The newcomers managed to consult the competition format, learn its rules, and form the teams. The special guest speakers and coaches have useful tips on how to shield the projects and qualify the following hackathone stage.
Data Bootcamp positively affected the regional contest participants’ competence. During the two years of the competition’s running in Dnipro, the jury saw more than twenty projects and five of them qualified for the next stage.
More Max Polyakov and Noosphere’s Events
NASA Space apps Challenge Dnipro is only part of Max Polyakov and Noosphere’s activities. Notable successes to their credit:
- BestRoboFest – robotics fest in the format of techno-picnic where even kids can demonstrate their achievements in engineering.
- MonsterCarsUA — the competition of self-made cars with extraordinary design. Their inventors can fight for monetary prizes of 5, 3, and 1 thousand dollars for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places respectively. The contest is held within BestRoboFest.
- Copter Race — is the air drones racing. This event got the FAI certification in 2017 and now it is a stage of Drone-racing World Cup.
- The world championship of rocket modeling sport in 2016 where sportsmen from 19 countries took part.
- The Ukrainian rocket modeling championship Ukraine Rocketry Challenge.
- Noosphere Volley Beach IT Cup – the 2-day tournament among IT-companies that managed to involve 27 teams.
- NooMa — the conference on online advertising (AdTech) dedicated to the latest trends in digital and video marketing.
- Vernadsky Challenge — is the engineer start-ups battle. For the last three years, the jury accepted more than 300 applications for participation from the whole world and selected 10 winners that got $170.000 in total for their projects development in the field of medical equipment, robotics, alternative fuel, etc.
Some of the events listed above are already planned for 2019, as well as new projects.
FireFly Aerospace Epoch
In 2017, Max Polyakov owned the American aerospace company FireFly Space Systems. Tom Markusic, an engineer, founded it but soon the project was on the verge of bankruptcy. Because of the lack of funding.
Max Polyakov saw great potential in Markusic’s developments and rebrand the company as FireFly Aerospace. The previous owner was promoted to a CEO in it.
What does Max Polyakov’s FireFly Aerospace work on?
The company almost finished the development of two carrier rockets for orbiting satellites. FireFly Alpha and Beta will be able to deliver to the outer space 1 and 4 tons of loading respectively. Alpha’s first launch is planned for the second half of the current year and should become a breakthrough in the development of New space, in the view of Max Polyakov. The idea is to reduce the cost of outer space flights and to make them available for private companies. Today, the Elon Musk Falcon 9 SpaceX’s orbital firing costs $60M and its carrying capacity from 8 tons makes it impossible to place in orbit small satellites from 0.5 to 1000 kg owing to the high cost.
Two carrier rockets FireFly Beta will be able to replace one Falcon and its firing will be 3 times cheaper. In the future, Max Polyakov is going to reduce the cost of cargo delivery up to 300% –400% because the company is improving its carrier rocket prototypes permanently.
The possibility to take part in 10-years NASA program for Lunar exploration appeared due to Beta that comes with the triple-core Alpha tech and can reach the Moon with payloads on board and then come back to the Earth.
The prospects of Max Polyakov’s projects are visible for both NASA and the American government. FireFly can use the spaceport on the base of U.S. Air Forces in California. This is the second time in history when the non-resident owner and his private company deserve such a high trust. Moreover, the company has already signed the agreement with a solid British manufacturer of SSTL satellites to make the first 6 firings starting from 2020.
Will space be affordable due to FireFly? The second half of the current year that implies the Alpha firing will show it. It is already apparent that the necessary intelligent and the material supply and technical equipment have been created. Max Polyakov and Noosphere deserved considerable praise for it.