Spire Global

Spire Global is a space-to-cloud CubeSat satellite operator that is specialized in the tracking of unique data sets from the Earth powered by a large constellation of small LEO satellites (nano-satellites), the Low Earth Multi-Use Receiver (LEMUR) CubeSat platform. Spire analyzes data from the tracking of maritime, aviation and weather patterns. 

The company operates a fleet of more than 110 CubeSats, the second largest commercial constellation by number of satellites and the largest by number of sensors. The satellites are integrally designed and built by Spire. It has launched more than 140 satellites to orbit since the creation of the company in 2012.

Spire Global is headquartered in San Francisco, USA and has offices in Boulder, Washington in the USA, Glasgow in the UK, Luxembourg and Singapore.  

Company History

Spire Global was originally known as NanoSatisfi, Inc. that was established in 2012 in San Francisco, USA. Three International Space University Graduates, Peter Platzer, Jeroen Cappaert and Joel Spark started the ArduSat projectto ‘democratize access to space’. ArduSat was partly financed thru the public crowdfunding platfom KickStarter and raised 100,000 USD.

In 2013 Spire partnered with Lemnos Labs in order to raise additional capital required for the manufacturing of the ArduSat-1 and ArduSat-2 (1U CubeSat) satellites. In February 2013 funds of 1.5million USD were raised by Investment and space companies such as Shasta Ventures, Lemnos Labs, E-merge, Grishin Robotics, and Beamonte Investments.

In November 2013 both ArduSat-1 and ArduSat-X were successfully released from the Japanese Kibō Experiment Module of the ISS and quickly started transmitting data to Spire servers. 

Following this experimentation, Spire engineers opted to focus on 3U nanosatellites to start porting more complex payloads In June 2014 the first iteration of its standard satellite format, LEMUR-1, was launched with the Dnepr rocket, a modified Ukrainian missile known as the R-36M operated by ICS Kosmotras. 

In July 2014 Spire Global announced another 25 million USD of funding that was led by Venture Capitalists. In August 2014 the company announced that ArduSat would be spun-off of the company and would focus exclusively on educational technology in partnership with U.S. high schools. Also, in 2014, Spire opened its Singapore office and started steadily increasing its network of ground stations.

LEMUR Satellite Constellation

LEMUR-2 is the initial constellation of low-Earth orbiting satellites built by Spire. These satellites carry two payloads for meteorology (SENSE payload) and ship AIS traffic tracking (STRATOS payload). Later satellites, beginning with the 78th satellite launched, carry also the AirSafe ASD-B payload to track airplanes.

The LEMUR-2 satellites are launched in small batches as secondary payloads on various rocket boosters executed by reputed launch providers:

# satellitesMission Launch DateLauncher       Launch Operator
ArduSat-1HTV/Kounotori-411/19/13H-IIBMHI Launch S. Japan
ArduSat-XHTV/Kounotori-411/19/13H-IIBMHI Launch S. Japan
106/19/14DneprICS Kosmotras
4AstroSat09/28/15PSLV-C30ISRO India
8OA-603/22/16Atlas VULA USA
1Deploy faulure03/23/16Atlas VULA USA
4Cygnus CRS-510/17/16Antares 230Orbital ATK/LM USA
4Kounotori-612/09/16H-IIBMHI Japan
8CartoSat-202/15/17PSLV-C37ISRO India
4OA-704/18/17Atlas VULA USA
8CartoSat-206/23-17PSLV-C38ISRO India
8Kanopus-V-1K07/14/17Soyuz-2GK Launch Russia
8Launch failure11/12/17Antares 230Orbital ATK/LM USA
8Meteor-M 2-111/28/17Soyuz-2GK Launch Russia
4CartoSat-201/12/18PSLV-C40ISRO India
2‘Still-Testing’01/21/18ElectronRocket Lab NZ
4HysIS11/29/18PSLV-C43ISRO India
8Kanopus-V12/27/18Soyuz-2GK Launch Russia
4MicroSat-R01/24/19PSLV-C44ISRO India
8Meteor-M 2-207/05/19Soyuz-2GK Launch Russia
4RiSAT-2BR112/11/19PSLV-C48ISRO India
4Gonets-Mx09/28/20Soyuz-2GK Launch Russia
2May 11th, 2020ISS
4EOS-1Jul 11th, 2020PSLV-C49ISRO India
8Transporter-1Jan 24th, 2021Falcon 9SpaceX USA
2VV18Apr 29th, 2021VegaArianespace FG
5Transporter-2June 30th, 2021Falcon 9SpaceX USA
4Transporter-3Apr 1st, 2022Falcon 9SpaceX USA
5Transporter-5May 25th, 2022Falcon 9SpaceX USA
6Transporter-6Jan 3rd, 2023Falcon 9SpaceX USA
3Transporter-8June 12th, 2023Falcon 9SpaceX USA
3‘Baby-Come-Back’July 18th, 2023ElectronRocket Lab NZ
8Transporter-9Nov 11th, 2023Falcon 9SpaceX USA
4‘Four-Of-A-Kind’Jan 18th, 2024ElectronRocket Lab NZ
4Transporter-10Mar 4th, 2024Falcon 9SpaceX USA

In November 2021 the company signed an agreement with CubeSat satellite launch deployer NanoRacks for the deployment of two 0.3U CubeSat satellites in what was to become “the first U.S. Commercial Satellite Deployment from the International Space Station (ISS). The satellite, named FEES2 (Flexible Experimental Embedded Satellite-2), was developed by the Italian company GP Advanced Projects and is approximately the thickness of a cherry. It will be one of the smallest trackable objects deployed directly from ISS.

In late November 2021, Spire acquired exactEarth, Ltd, a leading provider of global maritime vessel data for ship tracking and maritime situational awareness solutions. After the merger, exactEarth will be fully owned by Spire and will become a subsidiary operating from Cambridge, Ontario, Canada.

On June 28th, 2023 the company announced an extended partnership with satellite operator OroraTech from Germany. The objective of this collaboration is to jointly develop, launch, and operate a constellation of eight satellites exclusively designed for global temperature monitoring. This groundbreaking initiative aims to establish one of the earliest and most extensive constellations dedicated to the tracking and monitoring of wildfires worldwide. Once deployed and fully operational, this constellation will play a pivotal role in enhancing our ability to observe and respond to wildfires on a global scale.

All trademarks, logos and images mentioned and showed on this page are property of their respective owners.

www.arianespace  edition September 15th, 2021  edition June 29th, 2023