HydroSAT is a geospatial data analytics company building a new Earth Observation constellation, that uses thermal infrared imagery to provide unprecedented insights for commercial and government customers. The company’s mission is to capture and deliver high resolution thermal infrared data, currently not available from other sources, to provide insights that benefit the environment, enhance food and water security, and serve other critical applications. 

The company is headquartered in Washington, USA and has offices in Carlsbad CA, USA and Luxembourg.

HydroSAT launched its first satellite, the YAM-6/Van Zyl-1 in December 2020. The mission was contracted by satellite manufacturer Loft Orbital using the YAM-platform to create a thermal infrared map of Earth, by early 2022. The satellite was named for HydroSAT co-founder Jakob van Zyl, who died in August 2020. 

Company History

HydroSAT was founded in 2017 by Pieter Fossel (CEO). Royce Dalby, Yunjin Kim and Jacob van Zyl. Van Zyl died in August 2020. Before co-founding HydroSAT, van Zyl worked at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he served as associate director for project formulation and strategy and solar system exploration director.

On December 11th, 2020 HydroSAT awarded a contract with satellite manufacturer Loft Orbital to launch its first satellite mission for creating a thermal infrared map of Earth, by early 2022. This will be HydroSAT’s first multi-spectral infrared mission, called VanZyl-1, and will be launched on Loft Orbital’s YAM-6 spacecraft, carried by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The mission would provide the first commercial space-based thermal imagery to track water stress, assess wildfire risk and support agricultural monitoring.

In August 2022 the company secured a license agreement with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to operate a private remote sensing space system. The license gives HydroSAT freedom to operate independently and proves that NOAA sees value in what the company is planning to achieve.

On May 3rd, 2023, HydroSAT, secured new funding of more than 20 million USD (18 million euro). The investment would be used for growth and development of its constellation of satellites and analytics to measure water stress and climate impact. This latest round of funding was led by Statkraft Ventures and included new investors Blue Bear Capital and Hartree Partners, all three firms focusing on climate tech. This round included participation from OTB Ventures, Freeflow Ventures, Cultivation Capital, Techstars, Santa Barbara Venture Partners, Expon Capital, Hemisphere Ventures. 

In November 2023, the company announced a partnership with LEO satellite operator Muon Space, a climate satellite company revolutionizing the way Earth is monitored from space. Muon Space awarded HydroSAT a contract for its first Constellation-as-a-Service (CaaS) spacecraft that will integrate HydroSAT’s multispectral and thermal infrared (IR) imaging instruments. The partnership strengthens HydroSAT’s plans to deploy its constellation of LEO SmallSats.

On June 8th,2023 HydroSAT, acquired IrriWatch, a Netherlands company that delivers daily climate, crop, soil and irrigation updates to farmers in 62 countries. The company plans to begin gathering thermal and multispectral infrared data via satellite in 2024. 

In December 2023, HydroSAT secured a 2.5-year contract with the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) from the USA for Thermal Imagery Evaluation. The partnership represents a key collaboration between HydroSAT and the NRO, a critical U.S. agency responsible for the nation’s intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance satellites. Under this new contract, HydroSAT will engage in the evaluation of high-resolution thermal imagery from its planned satellite constellation. The aim is to assess the potential application of HydroSAT’s commercial remote sensing technology across a diverse range of use cases, reflecting the NRO’s interest in expanding its commercial and defense capabilities through innovative technologies.

SatelliteMissionLaunch DateLauncherLaunch Operator
YAM-6/Van Zyl-01Transporter-4Apr 1st, 2022Falcon 9SpaceX USA

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