Earth Observation is the place to be in space – Techdoxx

Deepak Gupta February 7, 2022
Updated 2022/02/07 at 11:24 PM

Your friendly neighborhood Max Q welcomes you to the week of February 7th!

Last week we saw some strong signs that the big boom in commercial space in the near future will come to Earth observation. It’s not like this was an overlooked market in the past: GPS is basically a type of EO. But changes in market dynamics, as well as the cost and availability of related technologies (not to mention the cost of a trip to space), have come together in a way that ends up being a perfect storm.

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ICEYE raises $136 million

One of the first commercial players in the synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imaging market has raised a sizeable Series D funding round, bringing its total to nearly a third of a billion. SAR basically stands for satellite-based images of Earth that allow you to see through cloud cover, the darkness of night, or basically anything else that might obscure an old, common visible light camera.

The company now claims it is second only to SpaceX in terms of the value it has raised while remaining a private company. This isn’t just important for the sake of bragging rights: it’s a clear signal from private equity investors that this is an area they expect to become much bigger and more profitable in the future, particularly if it’s helped by some fuel for the future. fire.

Image credits: ICEYE

Wyvern Adds $4 Million, Bringing Small Startup to $9.5 Million Closed in Just Weeks

Another EO startup at the opposite end of its lifecycle has raised a significant amount of new money, in the form of a $4 million contract coming from an initiative run by the Government of Canada. The funding vehicle supports startups working on clean tech innovation and does not take on capital, instead installments its awards within a set time frame in response to the startup reaching certain milestones.

This comes on the heels of its initial $4.5 million round, which includes both equity support and a grant from the Canadian government (separate from today’s injection). For a young startup that is still small, that means a sizable war chest without having to give away much in terms of ownership.

Wyvern’s business is hyperspectral imaging, which, like SAR, allows you to see more and in greater detail than traditional optical imaging. Hyperspectral has been too expensive to market properly and restricted by certain governments (i.e. the US) in terms of usage by private companies – but all that is changing, and the gold rush is on.

The Olds College “Smart Farming”. Image credits: olds college

Starlink has been available for some time now, but a new offering promises better connectivity for those willing to fork out more cash. It’s a little more money – 5x more for $500 monthly, but for that price you get a better receiver that can handle moving more internet bits up and down (150-500Mbps, up from 40-250 in the consumer offer, by SpaceX) .

This one is aimed squarely at businesses, which is a good idea for Starlink in terms of chasing much more recurring revenue from a less price-sensitive customer segment.

Image credits: starlink

Other news from TC and beyond

SpaceX throws even more Starlink Satellites it is a NRO satellite.

Blue Origin tests the jettisoning process for its enormous New Glenn Rocket Payload Fairing.

rocket lab is opening a new one Space Systems Complex in Colorado to increase its growing presence in the US.

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