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London-based Satellite Vu raises £3.6M, eyes to launch world’s first thermal imaging satellite constellation in 2022

Satellite Vu
Image credits: Satellite Vu

London-based Satellite Vu uses satellite technology to address global challenges as it focuses on infrared and head emissions. In a recent development, the company grabbed £3.6 million in seed funding.

World’s first thermal imaging satellite constellation

The seed funding round was led by Seraphim Capital. The round was multiple times oversubscribed and was supported by A/O PropTech, Europe’s largest Proptech venture capital firm alongside other specialist investors, including Ridgeline Ventures, the Earth Science Foundation, E2MC Ventures and Stellar Solutions.

The investment round will be used to launch the world’s first satellite constellation capable of imaging the thermal footprint of any building on the planet every 1-2 hours. Also, it will enable Satellite Vu to initiate the construction of its first satellite that is due to launch in 2022.

Satellite Vu has been backed by the UK Space Agency through its National Space Innovation Programme (NSIP) to support the build of the infrared sensor for its first satellite. Also, the company partnered via the SPRINT programme with the world-renowned University of Surrey to evaluate the utility of infrared observations in the maritime domain.

“This ground-breaking and timely technology will, for the first time, allow the government and the public to make better and informed decisions on which buildings are a priority to upgrade.” said Anthony Baker CEO of Satellite Vu. “The lessons learnt from the pandemic were: test, test, test; in the climate change challenge we need to: measure, measure, measure. Satellite Vu’s technology is the best satellite system, by far, to measure the temperature of buildings, globally, consistently and recurrently with multiple revisits per day.”

James Bruegger, the Managing Partner of Seraphim Capital, said “We believe that high resolution infrared satellite data holds enormous promise for positively impacting the world. A combination of poor resolution, high cost and infrequency of data capture has held back the application of this high impact dataset for decades. We’ve backed Satellite Vu because it alone has the technology to address all these issues and make high resolution infrared the next major category of Space data.”

Gregory Dewerpe, Founder of A/O Proptech, said: “With the built environment responsible for almost 40 percent of global carbon emissions, it is crucial that the sector harnesses new technologies if we are to rapidly reduce our carbon footprint. Using accurate data is vital to making informed decisions, and Satellite Vu has found a way to measure the thermal efficiency of buildings which has never been carried out before. Backing forward thinking technologies with the potential to fight climate change and creating an ecosystem of solution is our mission as a firm, and Satellite Vu is another step forward in that direction.”

Game-changing technology

This year, the UK holds the Presidency of COP26, the pivotal United Nations Climate Change Conference. Boris Johnson, the UK Prime Minister, set out his 10-point plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, highlighting the challenge of greening homes and public buildings, and developing the cutting-edge technologies needed to reach these new energy ambitions. And, Satellite Vu has a solution to help meet energy ambitions.

Founded in 2016 by Anthony Baker, the company’s constellation of miniaturised satellites will use high-resolution infrared cameras to collect temperature data day and night about both the natural and built environment. These are 1/10th of the size and cost of other infrared imaging satellites, thereby making Satellite Vu unique in being able to measure the heat signature of any building anywhere multiple times a day. Eventually, Satellite Vu derives new insights about both the building and how it is being used.

This capability is a game-changer in the global quest to achieve net-zero emissions. For the first time, it opens up the potential to monitor everything from the energy being wasted by poorly insulated buildings in real-time. This is possible by measuring economic activity by observing how many shifts a factory is operating and how much energy a power station is generating.

The temperature data Satellite Vu collects can quickly pinpoint the worst energy-wasting buildings such that investment in energy efficiency measures can be deployed based on measurement data.