Pixxel, the Indian Space-tech startup has launched its first commercial satellite, TD- 2. It is a full-fledged commercial satellite that hosts one of the highest resolution hyperspectral commercial cameras to be ever flown. It has been launched with SpaceX’s Falcon-9 rocket, in order to build a 24×7 health monitor for the planet. With more satellites scheduled to launch in late 2023, Pixxel aims to achieve daily global coverage by early 2024. www.pixxel.space
UK Space Command Contracts with SSTL
Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) has signed an £22m contract with Defense Equipment and Support on behalf of Space Command for Carbonite+, a 150kg spacecraft. Project TYCHE is the first satellite procurement for the MINERVA programme which is a key enabler in the development of the foundation for a UK Space-based Intelligence Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR) constellation under programme ISTARI. Delivered under a 3 year build programme, the Carbonite+ mission will be compatible with both horizontal as well as vertical launch. Carbonite+ will be operated from SSTL’s Spacecraft Operations Centre in Guildford. www.sstl.co.uk
Fujitsu has announced the development and deployment of a new analysis system to calculate orbital courses of space debris for use with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) “Space Situational Awareness System” (“SSA system”) for monitoring space debris. JAXA started operations of the new system at the Tsukuba Space Center on April 1, 2022. JAXA will utilize the new technology to create plans on effective space debris observation, drawing on observation data from radar and optical telescope to calculate the trajectory of space debris and perform comparative analysis with the path of JAXA satellites.
In case the system detects space debris approaching satellites, it will support the operators at JAXA in quickly responding to risks and avoid any possible collisions with the space debris by automatically calculating the possibility of a predicted collision and necessary course changes. www.fujitsu.com
Space industry launches humanitarian initiative to support Ukraine
Leaders of the space community have announced the Space Industry for Ukraine (SIFU), an initiative designed to fund and execute efforts that provide immediate humanitarian aid to the people of Ukraine. The initiative will be run by a steering committee, which includes HawkEye 360, National Security Space Association (NSSA), ABL Space Systems, ARKA, BlackSky, Capella Space, ICEYE, Insight Partners, Leidos, LeoLabs, Maxar, Raytheon Intelligence & Space, Rebellion Defense, Relativity Space, Riverside Research, Rocket Lab, Velos and Viasat. The steering committee will fundraise, select and monitor the execution of critical humanitarian projects throughout Ukraine and its neighboring countries. Additional participating donor companies include The Aerospace Corporation, Cognitive Space and Shield Capital. Through the generous contributions of its members, the SIFU has fundraised to date nearly $1 million. In coordination with the international NGO community and with representatives of the Polish and Ukrainian governments, high-value projects have been structured to be undertaken on short notice to create immediate and material value for the Ukrainian cause.
National Space Policy Secretariat of the Cabinet Office contract with Synspective
Synspective Inc., a SAR satellite data and solutions provider, announced that it has entered into a contract for a “demonstration project for expanding the use of small SAR satellite constellations” led by the National Space Policy Secretariat of the Cabinet Office in Japan. In order to expand the full-scale use of SAR data in domestic ministries and agencies, the National Space Policy Secretariat of the Cabinet Office will lead a project to test small SAR satellite constellations in various administrative fields, and organize and evaluate their effectiveness, feasibility, and issues at an early stage. Furthermore, the project will conduct usage verification in the administrative field for potential usage needs, verify and evaluate effectiveness and feasibility, and sort out any issues that need improvement. Based on the results, the best approaches will be identified for full-scale use in each ministry of the Japanese government to promote future use expansion. https://synspective.com
Planet has entered into an agreement with Moody’s, a leading global integrated risk assessment firm serving financial markets, to explore and address the growing demand for assessing and monitoring solutions on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) risks. This relationship with a global financial firm is a landmark deal for Planet, leveraging satellite data for ESG measurement. As companies and governments face unprecedented risks due to climate change and political upheaval, new and holistic reporting metrics to evaluate the longterm risks and sustainable opportunities of this century are critical to providing information for investors, regulators, and the public. www.planet.com
Quanergy Systems, Inc., provider of LiDAR sensors and smart 3D solutions, has announced a technology integration with Mirasys, one of the leading suppliers of open platform Video Management Systems (VMS). The integration of Quanergy’s platform with Mirasys’ deep vision data platform will deliver advanced insights and analytics for physical security applications in the government, retail, and gaming industries. www.quanergy.com
RIT Digital Imaging and Remote Sensing Lab teams with Rendered.ai
Rendered.ai and the Rochester Institute of Technology’s Digital Imaging and Remote Sensing (DIRS) Laboratory announced a collaboration to combine the physics-driven accuracy of the DIRSIG synthetic imagery model with Rendered.ai’s cloud-based platform for high volume synthetic data generation.
Machine Learning (ML) algorithms using Computer Vision (CV) data provide a key tool for exploiting the rapidly expanding capability and content of Earth Observations (EO) collection and analytics companies around the world. Rendered.ai provides a platform as a service (PaaS) for data scientists and CV engineers to scalably produce large, configurable synthetic CV datasets in the cloud for training Artificial Intelligence (AI) and ML systems. The DIRSIG model produces a range of simulated output representing passive single-band, multispectral, or hyper-spectral imagery from the visible through the thermal infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum. It is widely used to test algorithms and to train analysts on simulated standard imagery products. www.rit.edu
Chinese meteorologists launched monitoring and assessment services for winter wheat distribution across the country that is based on remote sensing satellite technology. The monitoring accuracy reached a resolution of 30 meters from space, and meteorology departments at the national, provincial, municipal and county levels have joined forces to promote such satellite technology applications. The new satellite-powered service could address the previous lack-of-precision problems in weather forecasts for grain production, Zhang Mingwei, an associate research fellow with the National Satellite Meteorological Center who is in charge of the project, told the Global Times on Tuesday. www.globaltimes.cn