Thermal infrared satellites to tackle climate change from space

Business news |
By Rich Pell

The company is flying a multi-spectral and thermal infrared mission with Loft Orbital on a SpaceX Falcon 9 in 2022. The company says it plans to launch an additional 16-satellite constellation with the capacity to scan the entire globe on a daily basis, generating science quality infrared data and an analytics-ready land surface temperature product.

The funding round was led by Cultivation Capital with participation by Freeflow Ventures, the Yield Lab, Expon Capital, Techstars, Industrious Ventures, and Synovia Capital, and brings the total the company has raised to date to over $10 million.

“This investment will allow us to further our mission of addressing food security, water scarcity, and climate risk by unlocking the power of thermal infrared data from space,” says Hydrosat CEO Pieter Fossel. “This investment allows us to build off of our existing government business to bring a commercial product to users in agriculture and analytics.”

With the new investment, Hydrosat is adding three space industry leaders to its board: Lori Garver is the CEO of Earthrise Alliance, the former Deputy Administrator of NASA, and a former board member of Maxar Technologies; Andy Dearing of Cultivation Capital who was the CEO of government analytics provider Boundless Spatial; and Ryan Johnson who was the CEO of RapidEye, the Berlin-based agriculture satellite constellation he sold to Planet in 2015.

While other commercial satellites rely on tasking to be able to image small areas for customers with reservations, says the company, it is building a high-capacity satellite system to collect data continuously over wide areas.

“It’s on-demand data with no reservations,” says Fossel. “We are building a commercial capability that will make the entire globe available daily from our library, which is powerful for machine learning users.”

Lori Garver adds, “Hydrosat is positioned to do for Earth sciences what SpaceX did for launch, which is to offer a high-quality, commercial capacity for government and commercial users.”

Hydrosat has contracts with the European Space Agency, US Air Force, and Department of Defense.


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