What is vendor lock-in and why should you avoid it?

Bright Ascension states that vendor lock-in occurs when you are compelled to use a single provider. This might happen for a variety of reasons. The expense of changing vendors may be prohibitive, so you may choose to stay with the same hardware supplier. It may be difficult or impossible to re-configure the system because of this.

Whatever the cause, you might want to consider avoiding vendor lock-in if at all possible, since it comes with several hazards.

  • You have no control over costs because hardware vendors set pricing.
  • The hardware you require may no longer be available as your company expands and matures.
  • Over time, the quality of your hardware may degrade. The level of service, too, might deteriorate.
  • Your hardware supplier may go out of business, or it may simply stop delivering parts.


There are additional reasons to keep your software architecture open and allow for hardware upgrades without having to develop or buy a new software package every time in the space sector.

Vendors of hardware may have limited manufacturing capacity. This indicates that you won’t receive your equipment on time, or that lead times will be longer, which might have a detrimental influence on the completion of your project and timelines.

New subsystems with new requirements may be required for you to use your space system. Alternatively, you might simply need different payloads for different applications. For example, the service you’re providing may include both spectral and radar capabilities, requiring separate equipment and integration techniques.

When your system is still small, this isn’t an issue; but as it grows, develops, and requires more scalability, the problem becomes much more challenging.


While it may be tough to make your system entirely hardware-independent, a modular and model-based approach has advantages. The modular design of Bright Ascensions is meant to be portable and enables replaceable modules as needed.

The system’s modularity and abstracted architecture allow for simple and quick expansion of additional onboard computers, operating systems, and architectures.

Even if your system requires a completely new OBC, you may quickly and simply develop the software package for a new spacecraft in your system. All you have to do is alter a module in your existing software platform rather than re-building the whole system architecture.

This modularity will enable you to get the most out of the flight software each mission, regardless of mission demands, with only minor changes and without having to re-create the flight software from scratch every time.


It’s worth noting that your hardware provider options are primarily determined by technical criteria. You may also wish to save money by taking advantage of different price alternatives available in the market. Because the system may be expanded to work with new subsystems, new hardware, and new software components without requiring a major overhaul, this allows you to utilize the finest suitable or most up-to-date equipment.

Competition within the manufacturing part of the New Space market has seen prices come down in recent years, and as a number of manufacturing companies scale up, this tendency will continue. As a service provider, you may want to take advantage of price competition between hardware manufacturers and make your constellations heterogeneous, comprising satellites from different manufacturers with different capabilities.

Contact Bright Ascension today to learn more about how Bright Ascension’s flight- and ground-based software solutions may help you improve the service delivery from space. Alternatively, have a look at their services.