Geospatial at the Center of Innovation Continuum in Power Utilities

Authored by Bhanu Rekha and Margarita Dadyan, the article was first published on Energy Central.

Even as increasing power demand ushers in revenue growth, power utilities are cognizant that they are operating in a rapidly changing business landscape with thin profit margins. They find themselves amidst technology disruption and operational issues such as supply of reliable power, aging infrastructure, grid modernization, cyber threats, renewable energy integration, distributed energy sources (DERs), and energy storage. On the other hand, they are obliged to comply with the frequent regulatory changes owing to energy transition shifts (non-renewable to renewable sources), sustainability concerns, and changing customer expectations.

Besides, utility operations wrestle with frequent power outages caused by weather-related events (e.g., drought-fueled wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes), many of which are expected to intensify due to climate change.

Amidst these changing market realities, the one key business differentiator utility companies swear by is the continuum of innovation – from innovations that bring about incremental shifts to truly transformative innovations – throughout the utility lifecycle to maintain sustainable operations, provide reliable services, have tight control over their bottom line, and stay competitive.  

Geospatial Data – Powering Innovation Continuum

More than 90% of utility enterprises have a context of location associated. Be it supply-demand, asset information, or source-consumer, the context of geography has always been a common binding factor. By harnessing geospatial data and location-based insights, utilities have traditionally improved operational effectiveness. For instance, using digital maps of their assets (powerlines, poles, sub-stations, transmission towers, etc.), utilities monitor infrastructure conditions and predict priority maintenance areas to avoid unanticipated downtime, reduce repair expenses, and enhance service reliability. Similarly, utility companies sieve through customer data and their location to pinpoint areas with high energy demand. This allows for efficient resource planning and meeting customer needs.  

Today, in the Industry 4.0 paradigm characterized by the convergence of digital, physical, and biological systems that operate seamlessly in real-time, utilities are building a spectrum of digital infrastructure mirroring their physical infrastructure and the environment around them. Even as this begins to revolutionize how energy is generated, distributed, sold, and consumed, geospatial technology finds next-level application, powering this innovation paradigm. Be it capturing asset data across the enterprise and building real-time analytics; moving from 2D to 3D models; from reality to virtual and back; and from cloud and AI to extended reality, digital twins, and metaverse, geospatial is taking center stage of innovations in the utility sector.  

This article attempts to highlight a few leading technology innovations across the utility sector where geospatial is a significant underpinning dimension.  

Innovations in Utility Asset Data Mapping and Monitoring

Accurate asset data is the lifeblood of all utilities, and geospatial companies act as essential bridges between government-to-citizen (G2C) and business-to-consumer (B2C) sectors by providing solutions to capture, map and monitor utility assets. “Setting aside the manual data collection methods, new techniques are being employed in data capture, such as high-density LiDAR (light detection and ranging technology) and high-resolution imagery from conventional/ remotely piloted aircraft and satellites – ranging from static mapping systems, mobile terrestrial and aquatic mapping systems – to rapidly map the assets along the transmission and distribution networks,” informs Brian Nicholls, Vice President – Asia Pacific, Woolpert. One of the main benefits of LiDAR data is its unparalleled accuracy and reliability. It is a precise and economical means for gathering pole information over substantial electricity distribution regions. Further, this data forms the base geospatial layers needed in the subsequent levels of the innovation continuum (e.g., digital twins).

High point density LiDAR (approximately 40 points/sq meter) imagery of urban distribution network. Picture Courtesy: Woolpert
High point density LiDAR (approximately 40 points/sq meter) imagery of urban distribution network. Picture Courtesy: Woolpert

After asset data capture, asset monitoring and management is a significant action for utilities, and geospatial companies deploy drones to perform automated inspections of solar parks, wind turbines, telecom towers, and power lines.

To control the growth and mitigate the impact of overgrown vegetation in and around power infrastructure, utility companies need vegetation management solutions as a preventive approach to ensure reliable and uninterrupted power supply. Geospatial solution providers such as Cyient offer vegetation management solutions that leverage the power of geospatial data along with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to provide insights for asset maintenance and optimization.

Similarly, Planet Labs, a satellite data and solution provider, is all set to launch their product to help utility companies to better plan by mapping where overhanging trees may strike power lines. “In California, for example, it is critical that structures in wildfire risk areas have defensible space, clear from vegetation. Utility agencies need these products to check millions of structures for defensible space requirements in an automated, cost-effective way,” informs Irene Benito, Senior Manager of European Affairs at Planet. In addition, Benito brings the example of one of Planet’s partners, Overstory, which provides real-time intelligence about the planet’s vegetation powered by AI and satellite data. “They help energy companies to mitigate wildfires and power outages by improving the safety and reliability of the transmission and distribution system and reducing grid operation costs,” reveals Benito.

Spatial Analytics

Once accurate and timely geospatial information is available, one can classify and identify features rapidly using spatial analytics. Understanding spatial relationships enables utility organizations to identify, evaluate, and mitigate risks. Seeing field activities in real-time over dashboards that display operational views of work improves workflows, resulting in more work completed in less time while optimizing costs. Spatial analytics determine why and where assets failed, identify patterns and help focus investment where it is needed most.

By helping utilities map a common ground, Esri, the leading geospatial software and solutions company, has been pivotal in supporting them to geo-enable utility environments with simplicity and leverage the 3As – access, awareness, and analytics. “ArcGIS helps manage data, share information, and visualize system status by providing all the key facts in one place, avoiding confusion, saving time, and providing insight into live operations for timely tactical responses and improved margins,” informs Agendra Kumar, Managing Director, Esri India.

Enhanced contextualization provided by geospatial technology enables the digital transformation of utilities while at the same time positioning them better to progress towards demand-based generation/distribution and consumer-centric tailored services. As an extensive information system that enables new results—solutions that devour underutilized data, harness analytics, and run on any device, intelligent utility solutions help utilities to reinvent geospatially.

Using the combined power of computing and the cloud, cloud-based geospatial offerings provide scalable computing, storage of large datasets, big data computation, and the ability to surge resources during critical events such as emergency response. The geospatial cloud strategy allows quick integration and analysis of large datasets and imagery at scale for even the largest utilities in the world. The combination of advanced spatial analytics and new AI tools helps model and visualize complex patterns, relationships, and situations.

Concurring with Kumar on the power of spatial analytics, Mike Battles, Senior Vice President & Market Director – Energy, Woolpert says, “Spatial analytics, combined with other data sources, powers the modeling of virtually unlimited scenarios,” and adds, “For example, what are the implications on a network on a very hot, windy day in densely populated cities such as Los Angeles, Sydney, or Singapore?” These are important scenarios to keep track for smooth operations of a utility.

Spatial Digital Twins

A digital twin, according to the World Geospatial Industry Council (WGIC) report  “Spatial Digital Twins: Global Status, Opportunities, and the Way Forward,” is a dynamic digital replica of its physical counterpart that provides up to real-time status and performance monitoring from sensors and observations. Spatial digital twins have a specific geospatial context providing a holistic, dimensional, location-based representation of assets, infrastructure, and systems. A spatial digital twin enables the end users to organize large amounts of data, visualize the same in 3D or 4D models and analyze. Continuous data exchange between the physical and virtual realms allows real-time monitoring, simulation, and analysis of the utility infrastructure.

Further, spatial digital twin technology enhances planning, asset management, operations and maintenance, grid resilience, customer service, and regulatory compliance, empowering utilities to optimize operations, improve efficiency, and deliver reliable and effective customer services. For example, the leading geo-data specialist Fugro’s solution provides utilities with a detailed high-precision 3D model of their electrical infrastructure, including the wires and poles. This digital twin gives power utilities a precise and comprehensive understanding of their network, enabling them to manage and maintain their infrastructure better. “In addition to a full-scale 3D network, our innovative solution models the environment around the assets to inform critical clearances, vegetation intrusions, and the spatial accuracy of the utility’s GIS schematic. With these analytics, our utility clients have implemented digital inspection programs that have helped reduce their carbon footprint, inspection cycles, and operating expenses,” apprises Dr. Pooja Mahapatra, Global Lead – Geospatial at Fugro.

Besides, digital twins enable geospatial data analysis related to DERs and modeling of how these privately owned assets may affect the grid and its performance.

“As power utilities face challenges such as aging infrastructure and growing demand, the importance of digital twins only continues to grow,” say Elshan Musayev, Managing Director, and Mustafa Musayev, Project Manager at EKM Global Consulting GmbH, a geospatial company that believes in bridging the communication gap between utility companies and technology companies.

Digital twin model that enables a virtual exploration of the overhead network. Picture credit: Fugro 
Digital twin model that enables a virtual exploration of the overhead network. Picture credit: Fugro 

Geospatial Integration in Smart Grids and Energy Transition

Smart grids sense and respond to imbalances in the grid more efficiently by using sensors, controllers, and computer systems to make automatic adjustments. They help prevent cascading outages and blackouts. Geospatial data provides an essential spatial context for various grid-related activities. It assists in grid planning and design by determining optimal locations for renewable energy installations, aids in asset management, facilitates situational awareness and incident response during emergencies, supports the integration and management of DERs such as rooftop solar panels and electric vehicle charging stations, and enables grid visualization and planning for analyzing network performance and future expansion needs.

However, to fully realize the potential of geospatial technologies and innovate, it is critical to abandon the siloed approach that leads to poor or no understanding of the status of utility infrastructure. This lack of understanding can result in inefficient resource allocation, limited preventive maintenance, ineffective planning and expansion, difficulty in disaster response, and limited collaboration and innovation within the organization.

Geospatial data combined with other data (operational data, sensor data, historical data, consumption patterns, demand fluctuations, seasonal variations, customer data, etc.) identified as critical for accurate decision-making can serve as a valuable feed for timely action for a utility organization. “Focusing on the assets and/or consumers in isolation is not enough. There is a need for a bird’s eye view that provides a spatial and temporal understanding of the expanse, dependencies, and linkages at a regional scale. At the same time, there is also a need for minute details at a local scale that provide intelligence for action on the ground, which only GIS provides,” Kumar articulates.

Considering “the profound impact current utility operations have on future generations, the sooner utilities reinvent themselves geospatially, the faster they can gear up for a sustainable and resilient digital future,” exhorts Kumar adding that “only geo-enabled smart utility networks can ensure reliability and strengthen the network resilience to bounce back in the event of disruptions.”

Geospatial technology provides additional dimensions to how businesses are managed, encompassing the asset side (tracking how things function in the field) and the customer side. The ability to acquire, organize, and integrate location information with other applications is vital, as it serves as a valuable data source for advanced analytics, including AI-driven processes, whose adoption is one the rise. Considering the volumes of data that grow from megabytes to terabytes, managing and utilizing it may be challenging and expensive. Thus, “to fully utilize this information, utilities must establish a central source of truth where the data can be assigned or integrated with other data to provide more insights,” advises Mahapatra of Fugro.

To open the data accessibility to a maximum number of stakeholders, Fugro went one step further and collaborated with the Houston Advanced Research Centre (HARC) on a US Department of Energy-funded project to create an innovative software tool for non-technical users to identify business opportunities for district energy and community microgrids, making geospatial data and engineering principles accessible to non-technical stakeholders such as investors or project developers seeking energy solutions at the community level. “Increasing tool accessibility reduces barriers and encourages stakeholder participation in the energy transition,” says Mahapatra.

Accessibility of the data across the company is essential to promote collaboration and informed decision-making and avoid data silos. For example, “Through our platform, utility service providers can collaborate internally, receive data through an API, and order data quickly and easily,” inform Emilia Nygren, PR & Communications Manager at Globhe, a company providing accurate and actionable drone data from anywhere in the world.

Collaboration to Boost Innovation

Utility networks are trans-geographical with multiple dimensions and stakeholders. Till the digitalization curve matures, understanding the existing and future consumers and scenarios is critical to designing a successful digital utility strategy. “With the ability to communicate in a simple language of maps, geospatial technology fosters enhanced situational awareness, larger participation, and increased collaboration – reducing digital inequality while at the same time helping utilities to widen their consumer base,” says Kumar.

On the other hand, the momentum in the energy transition from conventional sources to renewable energy and sustainability concerns are bringing about several shifts in how utilities operate. “One of the significant needs is for a stable and predictable regulatory environment that encourages long-term investment and planning, says Mahapatra and adds, “The power utility industry is heavily regulated, and changes in regulations have a significant impact on investment decisions, project planning, and operations. This uncertainty can create a barrier to entry for private sector investors and stifle innovation.”

Against this backdrop, a few companies see public-private partnership (PPP) as a good model of collaboration to promote innovation by bringing the resources, expertise, and experience of both the public and private sectors. However, they also wish to partake in policy-making that balances the competing priorities of affordability, reliability, and environmental sustainability. “For example,” says Mahapatra, “policies that incentivize renewable energy development can lead to higher energy costs for consumers, while policies that prioritize affordability may not do enough to encourage the adoption of clean energy technologies. We need to strike a balance.”

Echoing these sentiments, Benito says, “Companies, governments, and NGOs need to join forces to design a policy framework for a successful, accessible, and equitable transition.”

Considering that geospatial information is a core component of utility digital twins, Nicholls opines that new approaches regarding geospatial data procurement and intellectual property rights can drive innovation. High-density 3D geospatial information (e.g., dense lidar point clouds, 3D city models, mobile mapping) have value and utility across several sectors, including transport and infrastructure, urban planning, 5G communications, asset management, municipal government, etc. “If we can find better ways to share the cost of capturing and providing this geospatial information across multiple users, with the content provider retaining intellectual property rights, we can drive down cost and increase downstream innovation,” reasons Nicholls and adds, “This approach should be balanced with increasing cyber and sovereign risk and commercial matters including indemnity, liability, etc.”


The power sector is under significant transformation. To remain relevant and effective in this changing environment, geospatial companies invest in research and development to bring innovation to their solutions, expand service offerings to address new challenges and opportunities, and build strategic partnerships with other industry players to leverage complementary expertise and resources. Further, solid relationships with utility clients help them understand their evolving needs and priorities and tailor-make solutions, offer ongoing support and training so they maximize the value of geospatial technology. By driving innovation, the private geospatial sector supports the ongoing energy transition besides spurring utilities to stay on top of their power game.

Panelists highlight the importance of making geospatial data broadly and openly available, particularly as taxpayers often fund its collection 

Effective evidence-based policy-making that leverages geospatial data is an urgent need for governments worldwide to facilitate sustainable development. Moreover, governments are increasingly realizing that multilateral agencies, the private sector, and non-profits are essential stakeholders in delivering effective governance that lives up to the expectations of 21st-century citizens.   

Understanding this imperative, the United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM), in collaboration with the World Bank, has developed the Integrated Geospatial Information Framework (IGIF). The framework provides strategic guidance to develop and implement country-specific action plans for managing geospatial information in an integrated manner. IGIF offers a holistic model, especially for national Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDIs), to transition toward geospatial knowledge infrastructure (GKI) or delivering machine-readable knowledge on demand.  

Recognizing the demand-driven push and the need for diversification in governance and regulation, the World Geospatial Industry Council (WGIC) has commissioned studies to identify the proactive role of the private sector in agile policy development.  

Mapping of WGIC Reports with IGIF Pathways
Figure 1: Mapping of WGIC Reports with IGIF Pathways 

In the last four years, WGIC has conducted policy research and published reports on geospatial data economydata privacy issuesresilient infrastructurepublic-private partnershipsgeospatial AI (GeoAI), digital twins, and greenhouse gas monitoring from space in an attempt to facilitate the exchange of knowledge within and outside the geospatial industry.  

These reports covered a policy scan of all applicable legislation and policies around the globe, along with recommendations for industry and governments on how to move forward, complementing IGIF’s efforts piece-wise.  

Aligning WGIC Research With IGIF Pathways

To demonstrate the complementarities between the two bodies of work and accelerate the geospatial ecosystem’s growth, WGIC recently brought out a policy paper titled “Enabling the Geospatial Ecosystem – Policy Considerations for Governments and Industry.”  

Though technology innovation and its adoption have been happening somewhat independently through markets, this policy research report has focused on connecting and informing the private sector and policy initiatives.  

Further, the mapping (Figure 1) aims to facilitate IGIF with a reliable body of supporting research based on holistic and inclusive stakeholder consultations. This also provides insights that help countries make evidence-based decisions for implementing integrated geospatial solutions. The IGIF pathways that directly benefit from WGIC’s existing body of work and future studies are Policy and Legal, Innovation, and Financial Pathways.   

Policy and Legal Pathway 

Governments increase the supply of knowledge-based products and services into the economy through policies and regulations. IGIF recognizes this as an essential ingredient for effective GKI implementation. However, keeping up with the accelerated pace of technological advancement, especially in the fourth industrial revolution paradigm, is proving challenging for governments. It is critical to identify the gaps between existing regulatory approaches and the rules needed to regulate new technologies and the business models enabled by them. Meanwhile, governments must implement interoperable, inclusive, and agile methods to govern the latest technologies without stifling innovation. Figure 2 highlights the elements of IGIF policy and legal pathway.  

Elements of IGIF Policy and Legal Pathway
Figure 2: Elements of IGIF Policy and Legal Pathway

This is where WGIC’s policy research, which prioritizes these objectives, can play a vital role. For instance, WGIC’s reports on data privacy and GeoAI offer analyses of relevant laws, legislations, and global policies to help the private sector comply with them. These reports also clarify and present the policy trends to help the private sector prepare for expected regulatory requirements without any loss to future revenues for lack of compliance. WGIC’s GeoAI report, for example, explained the risk-based classification of AI applications proposed by the European Union’s then-expected “AI Act.”  

Based on its extensive policy research, WGIC recommends IGIF focus on agile policy-making with an integrated approach that balances the needs of the government (public sector), standards and regulatory bodies, and industry, as well as skilling/ training providers. This collaborative effort would work towards achieving a collectively agreed vision.  

Moreover, legislations should allow regulators the flexibility to adjust their enforcement approach without compromising the alignment with the principles of the law. This approach would make the laws agile enough and not become obsolete soon.  

Innovation Pathway 

Along with effective policy and regulatory frameworks, an innovation ecosystem is critical in creating new products and services, opening new markets, and transforming existing ones to deliver greater user value.  

Tracking technological advances and innovation is essential for understanding new possibilities. For example, advances in AI technologies have allowed reimagining the complex skill of driving a vehicle into a set of prediction problems. This may include how other vehicles or persons in view would act and how to respond in that situation. This reframing of the problem allowed imagining a future with autonomous vehicles and the emergence of a whole new industry of components, data services, and related business models.  

Elements of IGIF Innovation Pathway
Figure 3: Elements of IGIF Innovation Pathway

WGIC reports on the latest advancements in GeoAI, digital twins, resilient infrastructure, and GHG monitoring and provides valuable insights into the potential opportunities, use cases, and business models. They also help policymakers build conducive environments for innovation and safe deployments of these technologies within their jurisdictions. They also outline the challenges faced in developing and in the large-scale adoption of emerging technologies.

Technology monitoring priorities based on requests from the geospatial industry make WGIC’s work in the domain much more relevant and usable for the stakeholders.  

This approach allows WGIC to gather valuable stakeholder and industry inputs that can benefit IGIF’s innovation pathway and directly contribute to IGIF’s mission of fostering innovation and growth in the geospatial industry. Open data is a public good and critical for realizing the benefits of emerging geospatial technologies. Across the expert consultations conducted for most WGIC reports, there was unanimous agreement on continuously working towards making more government-owned data accessible to everyone. Promoting cross-border data exchanges could help data-starved countries overcome the challenges of data access and enable them to build innovative applications and use cases. 

Further, sharing algorithms/models openly is vital to reduce costs/efforts in implementing IGIF. For example, companies have been putting their AI models and algorithms under open source because the business models for AI benefit from the ability to crowdsource new ideas from everywhere.  

Financial Pathway 

Even as financing of SDIs and IGIF at the country level has been limited, the growth in the value and use of geospatial data beyond the public sector has been astonishing. With new technologies such as cloud computing, AI, and communication technologies, geospatial data can significantly expand business opportunities for small and large businesses. In this scenario, governments can leverage their investments in better delivery of public services with geospatial data (or building SDIs) with additional investments from the private sector through public-private partnerships (PPPs). Thanks to the culture of open data, interoperability, and open-source collaborations, the geospatial industry is mature enough for new business models like PPPs.  

Figure 4: Elements of IGIF Financial Pathway

Recognizing the untapped potential of PPPs in the geospatial domain and their benefits to IGIF, the WGIC report, “Public-Private Geospatial Collaborations: Exploring Potential Partnership Models” studied the potential of PPPs in IGIF implementation. The report highlighted that PPP business models could be placed “along a continuum of related models, differentiated by their contractual arrangements, areas of business focus, and procurement arrangements.” The report identified twelve PPP-based business models with unique characteristics and relevance to building national SDIs.  

Additionally, while the WGIC report on data economy recognized how policies could impact the development of business models in an economy, the GeoAI report underscored the possibilities for creating new business models by recognizing trained AI models as assets. The UN IGIF High-Level working group has a sub-working group on sustainable finance for the country-level action plans. The WGIC report may provide insights into how PPP could support sustainable financing models. Overall, WGIC’s policy work brings the industry perspective on how IGIF’s financial pathway implementation can leverage new and innovative business models at all levels. 

Key to the success of IGIF’s financial pathway is private sector participation.Governments could take the example of UN-GGIM, including the Private Sector Network (PSN), as part of its ecosystem to bring a diversity of thought, technology, investments, and innovative business models from the private sector to support the geospatial initiatives of the UN. Examples are UNSD, the GKI Alliance project, SDG Data Alliance. The National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC), USA, brings in private sector participation to discuss geospatial initiatives at the national level. Similarly, including the private sector at the planning stage of IGIF or GKI rollout is critical to source early and valuable inputs from them.  

Further, governments need to promote innovation and new business model development by taking the risk of investments in proof of concepts (POC) and pilots. The US’s small business innovation research (SBIR) program is an excellent example of the government stimulating technology innovation and commercialization.  

No single entity can implement IGIF alone in any geography or country. It is a job that requires all stakeholders to come together, collaborate, exchange knowledge, and work together to achieve common goals and co-create an inclusive future. This has been the underpinning and guiding philosophy of WGIC, and it invites all organizational and individual stakeholders to partner and collaborate on this mission.

Satellite Vu’s Early Access Program – £81M commitment to access ‘the world’s thermometer’

  • Satellite Vu secures £81 million worth of purchase options from thirty companies for their Early Access Programme (EAP)
  • Industry applications range from Defence and Intelligence, Industrial Activity Monitoring, Built Environment, and Agriculture
  • All are committed to harnessing the unique power of infrared mapping technology.

Satellite Vu, the UK space and climate tech company on a mission to deliver practical access to sustainable solutions, has secured £81 million worth of purchase options from thirty companies for their Early Access Programme (EAP).

Satellite Vu is due to launch their first spacecraft in June 2023, and ahead of this opened their Early Access Programme to provide customers and partners with preferred access to their imagery products; as well as the opportunity to secure valuable capacity on the inaugural satellite.

The EAP has now onboarded thirty businesses with purchase options from customers from a diverse range of industries and geographical regions including Kayrros, Ordnance Survey and Japan Space Imaging Corporation that was announced last year. This commitment from a global range of players highlights the need for Satellite Vu’s efficient and scalable means of providing infrared data which lifts the lid on thermal activity around the world.

These customers will harness the power of mid-wave infrared satellite imagery to monitor sites of strategic interest, assessing global energy levels and industrial activity output, providing the information advantage for decision makers across government, defence, climate finance, asset management, trading, investment, and operation sectors.

Accurate geospatial data provides an edge in global strategic planning and risk mitigation. Kayrros and Earthi are all focused on increasing transparency through geospatial insight – applying a combination of multiple data streams, providing unique, tailored intelligence to multiple market sectors, highlighting the versatility of satellite imagery.

Alongside this there is a focus on the monitoring of the Built Environment, addressing the Urban Heat Island effect, a phenomenon coined in response to the enormity of industrial and residential heat that is being produced globally.

Those on the EAP with a primary product application in this area include Nexqt, Climate Engine and the Office of Planetary Observation. Using thermal data, Satellite Vu can provide a pattern of life thermal index of commercial and residential buildings. Combined with energy consumption and other information the Satellite Vu thermal index will provide an indication to these businesses of how efficient the structure is, identify where heat is being wasted and guide where energy improvement retrofit investments will have the biggest impact.

The overall ambition of this Early Access Programme is to democratise Earth observation, and Satellite Vu have partnered with businesses like SkyFi to do just this. SkyFi provides on-demand satellite imagery to anyone with a smartphone, tablet or computer using a purpose built platform allowing anyone to start exploring their library of Existing Images or to order a new satellite image.

Satellite Vu’s high-resolution technology offers a new way to analyse activity, detect changes and anomalies. As well as images, Satellite Vu will provide 60 second videos, which enables the visualisation of dynamic changes over time and build-up of a pattern of life. This makes it ideal for agricultural monitoring applications – something that Plant Stress Management, Crop Protection Agritech company, farmAIr is exploring through the EAP.

While the technology provides energy, building, and water sanitation insights to help mitigate man-made inefficiencies, it can also be used in a wide array of defence and intelligence applications. For Suhora and HEO Robotics who are part of the EAP, the primary application of the technology will be to deliver essential insights on space assets to government and defence agencies through innovation in spatial science.

To truly combat climate change, and accelerate decarbonisation, we need data to make informed decisions. Through the commitment to their EAP, Satellite Vu is on track to be the first-to-market with a space-based solution that will offer the capabilities that the government and commercial sector require to take action on the environmental impact our modern life is making on our planet.

Anthony Baker, CEO and Founder, Satellite Vu:“We are thrilled to see such a diverse range of companies onboard our EAP. This commitment to use thermal imaging and geospatial data across the globe highlights the need for measurable impact and real appetite to drive change across industries. We are committed to scaling our capacity to meet the market demand for our product and are excited to work closely with these businesses who are proactively readying themselves for the start of our commercial service via our first spacecraft.”

Antoine Rostand, Co-founder and President, Kayrros:“As a world leader in satellite image processing and environmental intelligence, Kayrros is always seeking new sources of Earth Observation data to enhance our offerings. That’s why we’re excited to be an early adopter of SatelliteVu’s powerful high-resolution thermal data and add it to our toolkit.”

“The advanced technology and data from Satellite Vu will support us as we continue to expand our real-time monitoring of human and industrial activity and its impact on the planet. By applying AI and data fusion to SatelliteVu’s thermal imagery, we are confident that we will expand the scope and refine the granularity of actionable data, enabling companies and regulators to make more informed decisions towards reaching their climate goals.”

Paul Bate, CEO at the UK Space Agency:“This £81 million commitment from 30 companies for the thermal imaging Early Access Programme is an impressive achievement for Satellite Vu, and a brilliant example of how the UK Space Agency catalyses investment into UK science and technology.”

“Having supported this project over the last three years, it’s very good to see companies from a wide range of sectors – from farming and map production to defence and various financial operations – recognising the potential of Satellite Vu’s mid-wave infrared satellite imagery to enhance so many aspects of our lives, and to help us protect our planet.”

To register interest and learn more about Satellite Vu’s Early Access Programme, please visit:

About Satellite Vu

Founded to bring satellite technology to address global challenges, Satellite Vu will be able to monitor the temperature of any building on the planet in near real-time using a new mid-wave infrared camera. These images will provide valuable insights into economic activity, energy efficiency, and disaster response, monitoring the energy efficiency of buildings, the spread of wildfires, the urban heat island effect, and water pollution. Satellite Vu aims to be the Earth’s thermometer from space.

Satellite Vu has raised a combined total of £20 million from grants and venture capital led by Seraphim Space Investment Trust including Lockheed Martin Ventures, Molten and A/O PropTech.

Partnered with Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd to build the satellite constellation and with SpaceX for the first satellite launch in June 2023, Satellite Vu is bringing the highest resolution thermal data to enable us to see the world like never before and take critical action towards Net Zero goals.

Satellite Vu has recently opened its Early Access Programme, which provides customers and partners with preferred access to Satellite Vu’s imagery, products, and services, as well as the opportunity to secure capacity on the first thermal monitoring satellite. Prior to launch, customers will be able to influence ongoing aerial campaigns, as well as test integration with Satellite Vu’s delivery platform and APIs.

Geospatial in Everything
Geospatial for Everyone