SAN FRANCISCO EOS Data Analytics is acquiring images from the first satellite in the Silicon Valley company’s agriculture-focused constellation. The satellite, built by South Africa’s Dragonfly Aerospace, also served as the first in-orbit propulsion demonstration by Ukrainian startup Space Electric Thruster Systems.
EOSDA, Dragonfly and Space Electric Thruster Systems (SETS) are part of the Noosphere space group, founded in 2015 by international entrepreneur Max Polyakov to create an integrated space business. Another Noosphere Ventures company, Flight Control Propulsion, oversaw the 3D printing of the components and satellite structure for EOS Sat-1.
This is truly an international effort by private companies with single leadership, said Artiom Anisimov, CEO of EOSDA and president of Noosphere Ventures Partners Space news.
By the end of June, EOSDA plans to begin selling EOS Sat-1 images commercially and offer priority tasks to customers in the United States, Canada, Southeast Asia and Australia. Imaging and analysis combined into products targeting the agricultural market will be available in July, said Rim Elijah, vice president of sales at EOSDA.
EOSDA, which began as a software company, designed its constellation and sensors to provide reliable crop classification and yield forecasting tools for agriculture and forestry.
Dragonfly built the satellite with the bandwidth the market lacks, Anisimov said. When we combine that with what’s already out there, we have this unique product offering. With AI modeling, anyone with access to the same data will have very similar models. Once you have your own proprietary dataset that makes all the difference in the world.
EOSDA’s goal is to provide predictive models and recommendations to farmers.
Clients want to know why things are happening and what should be done, Elijah said. Are the problems the result of pests, diseases, fungi, climate change or bad practices on the part of the farmers themselves?
EOSDA is also preparing to feed data from EOS Sat-1 into EOSDA LandViewer, an online source of current and historical imagery that extends beyond the agricultural sector to serve markets such as real estate and defense.
SET Electric propulsion
SETS, founded in Dnipro in 2016, is establishing a European site for the final assembly of its Hall effect thrusters, which first fired on the EOS Sat-1.
We waited to gain this flying legacy to make the next move, said SETS CEO Viktor Serbin Space news. Now we will work for the expansion of the company.
SETS has developed two propulsion systems. Both feature Hall-effect thrusters, but SETS’ proprietary cathodes and power processing units have made the technology “a little more efficient,” Serbin said. “In the space industry, every percentage of efficiency matters.”
EOS Sat-1 relies on SETS Hall effect thrusters for orbit maintenance and eventual deorbit. Getting coherent images of the Earth for high-precision agricultural applications requires reliable and efficient propulsion, Serbin said.
In the future, SETS plans to sell off-the-shelf and custom-made propulsion systems to join the global propulsion system market, Serbin said.
EOS Sat-1 was launched on January 3 on the SpaceX Transporter-6 rideshare flight. The company intends to launch two more satellites a year until the seven-satellite constellation is complete.
We are exploring ways to attract third-party capital to accelerate implementation, Anisimov said.
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