Orbital Sidekick acquires first light imagery


ST LOUIS – Hyperspectral startup Orbital Sidekick is acquiring imagery from its first two satellites launched in April on the SpaceX Transporter-7 rideshare flight.

“We recently acquired first light, which was very exciting,” Katie Corcoran, OSK vice president of government affairs, said May 22 at the GEOINT Symposium here. “We have two healthy payloads on orbit right now.”

Another OSK satellite is scheduled to travel to low-Earth orbit in June. Two more are slated to fly in October. And the sixth OSK satellite will launch in February 2024, Corcoran told SpaceNews.

OSK’s six-satellite Global Hyperspectral Observation Satellite constellation, or GHOSt, will provide frequent revisits, viewing some sites on a daily basis. GHOSt will provide hyperspectral imagery with a resolution of 8.3 meters per pixel and panchromatic imagery of 3.1 meters per pixel.

Hyperspectral data has many potential applications. To date, OSK has focused largely on energy and government markets.

On the government side, OSK is working with the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Space Force, National Reconnaissance Office, U.S. Geological Survey, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and In-Q-Tel.

In the energy sector, OSK serves as the technology partner for the intelligent Pipeline Integrity Program, a consortium focused on technologies to prevent and detect pipeline leaks.

Academic Partnerships

OSK recently began working with the Rochester Institute of Technology Center for Imaging Science.

“We’re looking to expand our partnerships, especially in the research community, and we’ll soon have a firehose of hyperspectral data available to our end users,” Corcoran said. “Our partnership priority right now is on researchers at colleges and universities or at nonprofit research labs.”

Toward that goal, OSK is asking researchers to provide input.

“Tell us about your work; just the high points to get us up to speed,” OSK asked on its website, LinkedIn and Twitter. “Which types of OSK support are most compelling for you and for your professional network, and why?”

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