The past few seasons of wildfires in the United States and Canada have been some of the most memorable — and dangerous — on record. But despite the billions of dollars each government puts into fighting fires, first responders still need real-time wildfire detection and monitoring data.
Enter Spire Global and OroraTech. Today, the two companies announced that they will launch a constellation of eight global temperature and wildfire monitoring satellites into orbit by mid-2024.
It is not the first collaboration between the two companies. Two satellites, called Forest Observation (Forest)-1 and Recognition Experimental Smallsat Thermal Detector (Forest-2), are already in orbit. They leverage Spire’s satellite platform, integration services and ground station, and OroraTech’s thermal-infrared optical temperature monitor. This new fleet of eight satellites will expand this work.
The satellites will not only track active wildfires; according to a press release, they will also identify areas at risk of wildfires, areas that OroraTech says are increasing due to climate change. The insights gathered will not only benefit first responders, but also the insurance and energy industries
The partnership is an example of Spire’s space-as-a-service subscription model, which essentially allows participating organizations to quickly serve cargo in space using Spire’s existing services and spacecraft.
In a statement, Dr. Axel Roenneke, Chief Commercial Officer of OroraTech, said the subscription service was “invaluable” in helping the company reach space quickly. No doubt it makes a lot of sense for other startups that may not have the capital — or the business interest — to build out their own spacecraft, operations, and ground infrastructure.
OroraTech was founded in 2018 as a spin-off from the Technical University of Munich. Last November, the company announced a €15 million ($16.4 million) series A, led by Belgium-based climate impact fund Edaphon.
The two companies also announced in May that they have been awarded a contract by the Canadian Space Agency for a dedicated wildlife-watching satellite.