Aerospace & Defence

Satellite Vu signs second SpaceX launch contract for thermal data collection

22nd September 2022
Sam Holland

British Earth Observation company, Satellite Vu, has signed a second SpaceX launch contract for their second satellite, doubling their thermal data collection capacity – faster than planned – amidst rising climate concerns.

The deal will see Satellite Vu’s unique Mid-wave Infrared (MWIR) imaging satellite launched into Sun-synchronous orbit (SSO) aboard a Falcon 9 rocket in early 2024. The satellite, which will be a clone of the first, will collect near real-time thermal data of the natural and built environment both day and night. Satellite Vu intend to use this data to analyse heat signatures and the wasted energy of buildings, industrial plants, and factories, assisting the transition to a Net Zero future, and limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees through effective decarbonisation of the economy.   

Furthermore, they will support compliance to Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) and sustainability credentials (e.g., ESG), combating greenwashing claims, by providing measurable data for accurate reporting. The technology will also be able to monitor the Urban Heat Island effect, which has a disproportionate effect on lower income areas, as well as water pollution which continues to occur despite the known consequences to human and environmental health.

The deal follows on from their first deal signed with SpaceX in February, which will launch the first of Satellite Vu’s planned constellation of satellites in May 2023, therefore meeting the urgent demand from businesses for data that can assist the energy transition.

Anthony Baker, Founder and CEO at Satellite Vu said: “Environmental issues are top of the agenda with the summer heatwave and the proliferation of wildfires over the past few months, reminding everyone of the urgent need to take action to provide a hospitable climate for all within our lifetimes. We are excited to have agreed our second deal with SpaceX to launch our thermal monitoring satellites which will guide the improvement and enforcement of environmental standards during this critical time.”

Isobel Gray, Sustainability Officer at Satellite Vu commented: “Reusing the design of our first satellite allows us to reduce the engineering work – and therefore the emissions from the factory - required before launch. Using less CO2, we'll add to our constellation faster than previously planned, and deliver more data to customers monitoring heatwaves, wildfires, and industrial emissions.

"Recent extreme events – such as 40-degree temperatures in the UK, and March's deadly heatwave in India and Pakistan – have been made much more likely by climate change, so the faster we can deliver data to help reduce emissions and inform adaptation measures, the better.”

Nell Agate Tsui, Quant ESG Analyst at Satellite Vu commented: “Earth Observation is all about understanding the world we live in. This useful and rapidly evolving technology allows us to measure a wide variety of physical characteristics and quantify how they change over time.

"When deployed at scale, merging the previously siloed disciplines of geospatial and financial analytics, this adds an extra dimension to insights, identifying risks and opportunities that can improve financial decision making.”

“Satellite Vu aims to be a UK homegrown global leader in the Earth Observation data analytics sector, by providing novel ESG-aligned data products to financial institutions, allowing for better allocation of resources to safeguard our collective transition towards a carbon-negative world.”

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