Spire Global, the space services company with offices in Glasgow, has signed an agreement with OroraTech, a specialist in space-based thermal intelligence, to build, launch and operate an eight-satellite constellation.
The constellation is described as the first dedicated to tracking and monitoring wildfires. Once operational, it will feature real-time detection capability, continuous situational awareness and predictive insights to help detect and maintain control of wildfires.
Each spacecraft in the eight-satellite constellation, which will be launched in mid-2024, say the companies. The satellite will carry OroraTech’s thermal-infrared optical payload and data processing unit, which enables in-orbit fire detection. The data gathered will be downlinked via Spire’s ground station network and delivered to OroraTech through an API.
Two of the planned constellation have already been launched, and the companies first collaboration – the FOREST-1 satellite – was on a Spire satellite in 2022. Initially intended as a technology demonstration, Orora says it exceeded expectations and is now serving as an active fire monitoring instrument. Currently, for example, the sensor is actively assisting SOPFEU, the fire agency of the province of Quebec, Canada.
Earlier this month, another Spire satellite carrying payloads for OroraTech, was successfully launched on SpaceX Transporter-8.
The constellation is for OroraTech. The satellites are owned and operated by Spire, and the data acquired by the sensors on the satellites is owned by OroraTech.
Potential customers for the data include fire-fighting agencies, forestry and utility companies.
OroraTech’s FOREST-1 was built and launched by Spire Space Services (customers use an API to directly operate their payloads via Spire’s Constellation Management System and ground station network).
“I can’t think of a more important and critical application than protecting our environment, people and property from destructive wildfires,” said Frank Frulio, general manager of Space Services, Spire.