Orbital Sidekick Announces Upcoming Launch of its Most Powerful Satellite: Aurora, to Advance Damage Prevention Efforts for Facility Owners and Operators

Hyperspectral monitoring delivers precise and hyper-focused data to detect small hydrocarbon leaks and physical threats to pipeline rights of way, in addition to other sustainability-focused applications

San Francisco, CA (June 15, 2021) — Orbital Sidekick (OSK) announced today the upcoming launch of its newest and most powerful hyperspectral imaging satellite: “Aurora.” Aurora leverages OSK’s previous experience collecting and analyzing hyperspectral data to provide action-oriented insights on the world around us, with a core focus on sustainability. The Aurora satellite will serve OSK’s customers in the energy, mining, and defense sectors, including expanding contracts and pilot program opportunities for oil and gas pipeline monitoring & methane mapping, clean energy resource exploration, sustainable mining practices, and wildfire risk mitigation. 

 “We’re excited to be launching Aurora to help provide consistent monitoring services across all of our clients as well as further the exploration for clean energy sources globally. Working with Astro Digital, OSK will be able to focus on the payload and extract information from our unique and proprietary hyperspectral data with the utmost precision,” said Dan Katz, CEO & Co-Founder of Orbital Sidekick.

 OSK’s technology will help advance safety efforts for the damage prevention industry, as employing hyperspectral imagery will allow oil and gas facility owners and operators to remotely detect small hydrocarbon leaks and physical threats — such as soil disturbances — to pipeline rights of way. As often as daily, OSK will analyze pipeline and infrastructure data. The technology can also be used in lieu of aerial patrol for compliance with Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) pipeline monitoring regulations, and will soon be available worldwide at a cost that rivals traditional visual aerial patrol — making it a cost-effective and accessible means for routine data gathering and pipeline stewardship. Common Ground Alliance (CGA), the national nonprofit trade association dedicated to protecting underground utility lines, people who dig near them and their communities, will join OSK for the Cape Canaveral launch on June 25.

 “CGA is looking forward to being a part of OSK’s exciting launch of Aurora, which is a significant step in the advancement of innovative technology that will be beneficial to many of CGA’s stakeholders, particularly those in the oil and natural gas industries,” said Sarah K. Magruder Lyle, president and CEO of CGA. “This unique technology will help facility owners and operators enhance their damage prevention and environmental safety practices, protect their assets and those living and working in the communities which they serve.” 

 The Orbital Sidekick Aurora Satellite is a 30-kilogram precursor to the six 100-kilogram ESPA class GHOSt satellites scheduled for launch in 2022. Seattle-based launch services provider Spaceflight will be coordinating the launch with a total of 36 payloads onboard the SpaceX Transporter-2 rideshare mission, taking place June 25, 2021 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Base in Florida.

 Aurora will capture more than 450 spectral bands in the visible to shortwave infrared light spectrum (400 to 2500 nm) with a pixel size of approximately 30 meters, making it the highest resolution commercial hyperspectral imagery available to date.

 About Orbital Sidekick

Orbital Sidekick’s vision is to lead the Energy Transition by building the most robust remote sensing and analytics capability in existence. OSK’s proprietary analytics platform and hyperspectral payload architecture provide persistent space-based monitoring solutions powered by Spectral IntelligenceTM. This unique radiometric speciation and change detection capability enables unparalleled target monitoring services for both commercial and defense users on a global scale. Orbital Sidekick has also been selected to participate in the inaugural AWS Space Accelerator for startups. Orbital Sidekick is headquartered in San Francisco, California. For more information on Orbital Sidekick’s global persistent monitoring services, please visit orbitalsidekick.com.

 About CGA

CGA is a member-driven association of nearly 1,700 individuals, organizations and sponsors in every facet of the underground utility industry. Established in 2000, CGA is committed to saving lives and preventing damage to North American underground infrastructure by promoting effective damage prevention practices. CGA has established itself as the preeminent source of damage prevention data and information in an effort to reduce damages to underground facilities in North America through shared responsibility among all stakeholders. For more information, visit CGA on the web at http://www.commongroundalliance.com.

Author: Editor

Glenn is a geographer and a GIS professional with over 20 years experience in the industry. He's the co-founder of GISuser and several other technology web publications.

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