It has signed a deal with Elon Musk’s company to launch the satellite in early 2023. This will be part of a rideshare launch on one of SpaceX’s Transporter missions aboard a Falcon 9 (right) and the satellite will be the first of what is planned to be a constellation of seven UK built satellites in a low earth orbit (LEO).
Satellite Vu specialise in the use of infrared and thermal imaging technology on its satellites. It aims to provide landlords, insurers and government agencies with access to real-time temperature data about the Earth’s built environment. The satellites can collect thermal data, both day and night, of both the built and natural environment at any location on the planet.
Its first mid Wave Infra-Red (MWIR) thermal imaging satellite will be the first of a planned constellation of seven and it is due to be launched into low earth orbit (LEO) in Q4 2022. is currently being manufactured in Guildford, Surrey, and is due to be launched into orbit in October this year.
The company writes:
“Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) are building the satellites which have been designed with a 3.5m resolution mid-wave infrared imager with video capability and a sensitivity of less than 2 degrees Celsius. The satellite video generation capability adds unique advantages over traditional imagery, allowing for the detection of highly dynamic features and the building of 3D profiles, useful for a range of applications such as alleviating the effect of heat islands in inner cities, monitoring the pollution of waterways from industrial processes, reducing the cost of heating buildings and ensuring buildings are energy efficient, and assessing the activity status of solar farms.”
As well as raising private capital, to fund the data-gathering constellation, Satellite Vu has received two grants from the UK Space Agency and a third grant from the European Space Agency (ESA).
“We are delighted to have agreed to launch with SpaceX which will see the first of our innovative satellites launched into space,” said Anthony Baker, Founder and CEO of Satellite Vu. “It is a really exciting time for the UK space sector and our satellites will make a real difference to the fight against climate change.”
“The world is struggling to lower their carbon emissions in order to meet climate targets, but through the data provided by these satellites, governments and businesses will be able to monitor their energy wastage and take action in order to make a tangible impact as we drive towards our collective climate goals.”
Back in October 2021, Satellite Vu raised £15m in Series A funding. It was the second successful raise in the last six months, for a total of £19m.
The company also received an additional £1m grant from the UK Space Agency’s National Space Innovation Programme (NSIP).
The company’s goal is that the data captured can be updated every 1 to 2 hours, and the use of infrared means coverage will be guaranteed even at night. For example, the data will be able to show if any individual building is being heated efficiently or which parts of a city are the worst emissions offenders.
“Satellite Vu will become the thermometer of the world,” said Satellite Vu CEO Anthony Baker, at the time.
See also: Satellite Vu turns to SSTL to become the thermometer of the world