Open Cosmos has reported that the latest of the company’s two satellites — MANTIS and PLATERO — have successfully reached orbit, following the launch of the SpaceX Transporter-9 mission at Vandenberg Space Force Base, California.
The launches mark a significant milestone for Open Cosmos as both satellites will join MENUT launched earlier this year as part of the OpenConstellation, a global, shared EO satellite infrastructure built and managed by the company. Data collected from OpenConstellation satellites can be accessed by organizations and businesses of all sizes, as well as national and regional governments to address challenges around the climate crisis, energy, natural resources and more. This is part of Open Cosmos’s wider aim to democratize access to critical space data, while keeping high levels of governance and security.
Both satellites will be used to track the environment from space. PLATERO combines EO, IoT and AI onboard processing and has been commissioned by the Junta de Andalucia through the Andalusian Agricultural and Fisheries Management Agency (AGAPA). The satellite will monitor biodiversity, desertification, emergencies like wildfires or floods and the effects of farming on the territory to inform future policies on preserving the environment.
MANTIS is the first satellite launched as part of ESA InCubed, the co-funding program run by ESA Φ-lab supported by the UK Space Agency as a participating member state. The satellite hosts an innovative multispectral, high-resolution optical payload for EO from Satlantis.
A secondary payload, a high-performance and reconfigurable processing unit made by Ubotica, is aimed at exploiting the power of AI to derive insights onboard. EO data from MANTIS will address the challenges of accessibility and periodicity in the energy and mining sector, while the data will be applied to further applications that will address environmental challenges such as climate emergency monitoring and biodiversity conservation.
The data from both satellites will feed directly into DataCosmos, the Open Cosmos cloud based data and insights platform that represents a groundbreaking shift in how businesses and groups can access and leverage data. It transforms satellite imagery into numbers that can be visualized and processed through algorithms. This, then, produces actionable intelligence in order to address the world’s most important environmental challenges.
“We’re delighted to announce the successful launch of the MANTIS and PLATERO satellites yesterday. The satellites will carry out important Earth Observation activities, using state-of-the-art onboard technologies. They also mark our latest launch for the OpenConstellation and the data these satellites collect will benefit companies and organizations around the world.” — Rafel Jorda Siquier, Founder and CEO, Open Cosmos
“We warmly congratulate Open Cosmos on the launch of its satellite. Through commercial initiatives and targeted disruptive innovation funding, ESA Φ-lab is able to provide a catalyst for European Earth observation businesses, and it’s particularly pleasing to see InCubed achieve the major milestone of its first supported satellite reaching orbit.” — Simonetta Cheli, Director of Earth Observation Programs, ESA
“Earth observation from space gives us a critical vantage point to monitor climate change, map our environment and discover new resources in a more sustainable way to benefit our people and planet. MANTIS and PLATERO are both brilliant examples of how satellites are making great strides in providing novel solutions with actionable data for a range of sectors. The UK Space Agency is proud to have supported the development of this fully commercial mission focused on energy and mining with Open Cosmos and partners across the UK and Europe. Delivery of this innovative mission boosts the small sats market and empowers different parts of the UK economy to use the power of space in everyday operations. It’s fantastic to see a successful launch.” — Harshbir Sangha, Missions and Capabilities Delivery Director, UK Space Agency