EOSDA launches its first agri-focused satellite from a SpaceX rocket

6 Jan 2023

Image: © 3dsculptor/Stock.adobe.com

The company has set out on its plan to provide high-quality data on almost 100pc of Earth’s farmlands and forests.

A US-based satellite imagery company has launched the first of its agri-focused satellites into orbit, to help support sustainable agriculture methods.

EOS Data Analytics (EOSDA) said this is the first of seven satellites it plans to launch, to provide high-quality data for analysis, agriculture and forest monitoring.

The first satellite was brought into low-earth orbit by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, which launched from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in the US.

This will be the first part of the satellite constellation EOS Sat, which aims to reach almost 100pc coverage of farmlands and forests globally when completed. The company plans to have the service fully operational by 2025, with the satellites revisiting sites every five to six days.

EOSDA said the satellites will help agriculture businesses monitor crop growth and detect isues that impact crops such as heat, cold, water stress, weed spread and pest attacks. These satellites will also provide productivity and vegetation maps to help businesses optimise their agriculture input.

“This launch brings new game-changing possibilities of satellite technologies to the agricultural industry,” said the company’s CEO Artiom Anisimov. “EOSDA will now work with proprietary datasets to provide even deeper and more accurate insights for its customers and partners.”

The company said its first agri-focused satellite will monitor up to 1m square kilometres a day. By 2025, EOSDA aims to monitor up to 12m square kilometers a day and provide useful data from panchromatic and multispectral imagery.

The seven satellites are being built by Dragonfly Aerospace, a space imaging systems technology provider based in South Africa.

Dragonfly Aerospace CEO Bryan Dean said there is a “great market” for its imaging products due to a growing demand for “high-performance, compact and lightweight satellites”.

“Having an agri-focused set of sensors, EOS Sat will collect the data that can actually help decision-makers take care of the Earth and maintain its biodiversity while providing food security for its many people,” Dean added.

The SpaceX mission – called Transporter 6 – carried a total of 114 satellites to orbit, which is the second-most spacecraft ever lofted on a single mission, Space.com reports.

Last October, Irish companies Davra and Treemetrics received a combined €3m in funding by the European Space Agency for their Earth observation projects.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic