Incorporating a data/software-first approach, Astro Digital, based at Moffett Field in Mountain View, California, has been partnering with Norway's Kongsberg Satellite Services for a new Ka-band spectrum station and has also been presenting talks regarding the ability of anyone to use satellite imaging from space.
The firm is now announcing a Series A financing round to the tune of $16.64 million from a syndicate of family funds. Astro Digital makes real-time satellite imagery more accessible. The technology and approach is not about pretty pictures, but rather, building tools that mine insight from large volumes of data. So far, this data comes from Landsat, and soon, from the European Space Agency's Sentinel-2 imaging satellite. Astro Digital’s own Landmapper constellation has capacity to image global production agriculture, daily, by the end of 2017 and will be fully operational by 2019.
The company’s set-up will eventually consist of 30 satellites orbiting 650 kilometers above Earth. A third of these will take images every day at a resolution of one pixel for every 22 square meters of land. The rest will capture images at a resolution nine times higher every three to four days. The first group will broadly identify where changes are happening and then the more precise sensors will zoom in and see what is changing and how.
Recently, Astro Digital expanded their data through integration with EU’s Sentinel-2 satellite, with the firm's processing pipeline able to pull in live imagery. This 10 meter resolution imagery is updated every five days. The frequency plus resolution gives the firm 30x more data on a daily basis.