Satellite Vu and Surrey Satellite to build thermal imaging satellite

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British scale-up Satellite Vu, an Earth observation company that offers the highest-resolution thermal imagery and insights, has formally signed a contract with Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL) to build its first satellite.

The new satellite is due to be launched into low earth orbit in Q4 2022.

The satellite will collect thermal data, day and night, of both the natural and the built environment at any location on the planet. The full constellation will have the ability to measure the heat signature of any building multiple times a day, enabling Satellite Vu to derive new insights in real time about building heat loss, activity and insulation.

The deal comes following Satellite Vu’s £15m series A funding round, and an additional £1m grant from the UK Space Agency’s National Space Innovation Programme (NSIP).

The satellite has been designed with a high resolution 3.5m resolution mid-wave infrared imager with video capability. The satellite video generation capability adds unique advantages over traditional imagery, allowing the detection of highly dynamic features in scenes to be provided and extracted, such as 3D profiles, movement tracking, and speed measurement useful for a range of applications relating to human activity, including defence and security and disaster monitoring.

The satellites and applications development has been supported by the UK Space Agency, via two National Space Innovation Grants and a European Space Agency (ESA) General Support Technology Programme (GSTP) grant.

Anthony Baker, CEO, Satellite Vu said: “After months of perfecting and developing the core technology, we’re excited to have formally signed this agreement with Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd to build the first of our seven planned satellites which will offer near real time high resolution temperature profiles of cities around the world. Satellite Vu will become the thermometer of the world.

“With the climate change emergency reaching critical levels, our insights will enable any business, building owner or government on the planet to obtain an independent, ongoing assessment of their energy wastage and efficiency, as well as the ability to monitor water pollution.

“Getting access to this data will enable organisations to take immediate action to improve their green credentials, as well as giving shareholders and investors a unique view into their company’s ESG performance.”

SSTL’s Managing Director, Phil Brownnett, said: “I am extremely pleased to be partnering with UK start up Satellite Vu. Our partnership is an ideal blend of SSTL’s pioneering approach and years of small satellite expertise with Satellite Vu’s entrepreneurial approach and strong business case. It’s a game-changing climate change mission and SSTL is very proud to be involved.”

Elizabeth Seaman, Head of National Space Innovation Programme at the UK Space Agency, said: “The National Space Innovation Programme is supporting our most ambitious innovators who are developing first-of-a-kind technologies to help solve some of our greatest challenges.

“This exciting partnership between SSTL and Satellite Vu will develop the first of a series of new satellites to provide real-time data on the energy efficiency of buildings, an important source of information that will help organisations respond to climate change.”

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