Perth-based startup LatConnect 60 (LC60), an Earth observation and data fusion company, is partnering with Queensland rocket company Gilmour Space Technologies in a project to build and launch the first microsatellite in a planned high-resolution hyperspectral imaging constellation.
LC60 CEO and Founder Venkat Pillay, and Gilmour Space’s Adam Gilmour announced the deal today at the 37th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado, an annual gathering of global space leaders.
LC60 is designing ‘smart’ satellites equipped with on-board AI-based computer technology that can pre-process data, including radiometric and geometric correction, in orbit before being downlinked to the ground.
The smart satellites, called the HyperSight 60, will be placed in orbits with an inclination of 30 degrees to regularly revisit data about the Earth’s equatorial and mid-latitudes.
Under the agreement, Gilmour Space will develop the first 100-kilogram HyperSight 60 satellite on its G-class satellite bus (G-Sat), which will be launched on Gilmour’s Eris rocket from Bowen Orbital Spaceport in northern Queensland.
The first HyperSight 60 microsatellite is scheduled to launch in Q4 2024 as the start of an eight-satellite constellation
Venkat Pillay of the LC60 said that once the constellation is operational, an hourly re-visit will be possible at mid-latitude locations between 30 degrees north and south in Australia, Asia, South America and Africa.
This new visit, combined with the spectral bands collected in high and medium-spatial resolution, will provide timely, information-rich insights for agricultural, forestry, environmental, mineral/oil and gas, climate change, maritime and defense applications. .
“HyperSight 60 will provide geospatial insights for mid-latitude regions at a level of detail and frequency not possible with other commercial remote sensing systems,” he said.
“The addition of Gilmour Space to the LC60 team contributes significantly to the future success of our ambitious plans. For HyperSight 60 and other planned LC60 constellations, our unique approach to onboard AI sensors, combined with advanced ground-based data fusion, will fill gaps in the insights that can be gained from current remote sensing systems.”
Gilmour Space CEO Adam Gilmour said: “This agreement would be our second G-class satellite mission on Eris, and we are excited to partner with LC60’s pioneering team to bring this important capability to market.”
Founded in 2019, LC60 owns the exclusive rights to 80-centimeter images captured over Australia, with global access from a high-resolution multispectral satellite. The startup is leveraging these images along with other geospatial data sets to develop advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning-based data fusion and analysis algorithms for a variety of applications.
The company now provides insights to help Southeast Asian palm and rubber plantations improve productivity and improve environmental sustainability.