Analytical Space (the “Company”) has closed a $17.8 million Series A equity funding round, enabling the firm to accelerate the development of the initial operating capability of the world’s first hybrid optical/RF data relay network.
In addition, the Company is officially rebranding to Hedron, effective immediately. Hedron represents a shortening of the polyhedron shape, a reference to the Company’s network topology and core optical communications technology design.
The round was led by Fine Structure Venture, joined by Lockheed Martin Ventures, Republic Labs, Lime Street, and Explorer 1 as well as existing investors: The Engine, Flybridge, Yard Ventures, NKM Capital, and Space Angels. These funds enable Hedron to expand its U.S. operations to support the company’s growing pipeline of government and commercial business.
The initial Network Operating Demonstration, scheduled to begin deployment in 2022, will serve as an operational service demonstration for Hedron’s resilient, low-latency connectivity service for satellites. Hedron will launch a series of data-relay backbone nodes, configured in multiple orbital planes, to provide near-constant connectivity to customer satellites, helping to deliver actionable insights about the Earth’s surface. The network will assist disaster response efforts, intelligence gathering, commercial applications, and climate monitoring. In addition, the network provides a capability to increase scientific return on NASA space missions as it is well-suited for supporting the future commercial architecture that is currently being created to replace the Tracking Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS), which NASA plans to retire by the end of the decade.
Over the past three years, Hedron has successfully integrated and launched two technical demonstration satellites and proven out critical networking technologies that will enable customer connection to the network. In parallel with these efforts, Hedron has successfully demonstrated compatibility in a laboratory setting with leading remote sensing satellite operators in preparation for this initial network deployment.
Following the completion of this funding round and rebrand, Hedron will build upon these technical accomplishments by deploying additional orbital planes of data relay satellites, to provide broader network coverage for critical earth observation assets. These deployments will enable Hedron to rapidly scale the availability of data relay services for key government and commercial partners.
Fine Structure Ventures’ Senior Managing Director, Jennifer Uhrig, said, “We are excited to join Hedron as it strives to build a next-generation data network in space. The demand for satellite-generated data is growing rapidly and Hedron’s vision and technology will address the need to reduce latency and cost. We believe Hedron’s network has the potential to be a key driver of richer business and consumer applications here on Earth.”
“The availability of real-time space data will advance the art of the possible for customers and industry partners,” said Chris Moran, Vice President and General Manager of Lockheed Martin Ventures. “We invest in companies whose innovative technologies have the potential to benefit our core business and customers and Hedron’s planned data relay network which has the ability to provide critical insights to users meets this criteria.”
“It is an honor to be working with financing partners who have a track record of backing world-changing companies and we look forward to exploring potential commercial opportunities with them,” said Dan Nevius, CEO, and co-founder of Hedron. “Since our founding, our goal at Hedron has been to provide low latency access to space-borne data, paving the way for new sensor technologies and time-sensitive applications. Today, we are one step closer to reaching this goal. These additional resources will allow us to move even faster toward the deployment of our global data relay network, starting with our Network Operating Demonstration that will prove our novel network architecture and underlying technology while showcasing new applications with our remote sensing satellite operator and end-user partners.”
Hedron (formerly Analytical Space) is an on-orbit communications company on a mission to provide a more dynamic communications infrastructure that provides real-time access to the critical information that is collected on space platforms. The real-time connectivity enabled by the Hedron network creates a rapid commanding and data downlink capability that allows for data to be used for time-sensitive tactical applications (e.g., wildfires, disaster response, national security, etc.). Enabling this type of active intelligence provides a significant new tool in the world’s ability to understand and address major global challenges.