Earlier this week, four Spire nanosatellites were successfully launched into orbit via a Soyuz rocket. These Glasgow built satellites backed by the UK Space Agency (UKSA) have since joined a fleet in low Earth orbit that is now able to monitor shipping movements, therefore allowing for these nanosatellites to help predict trade movements across the globe.
As said by Space Minister Amanda Solloway “While nanosatellites are just the size of a shoe box, they have the power and intelligence of a regular satellite and are driving a revolution in how we observe our planet.” Furthermore, Ms. Solloway goes on to note that “Backed by £10 million of UK government funding, these extraordinary nanosatellites will not only help predict global trade and make businesses more cost effective, but will ensure the UK remains at the forefront of satellite development.”
Of these four Spire nanosatellites, two of these have onboard what is referred to as a “supercomputer” by the UKSA that’s purpose is to provide incredibly accurate predictions of the locations of boats, capable of tracking their location to then calculate their arrival time at ports. Through these advances, port businesses and authorities will be further enabled to manage their respective docks safely.
As Peter Platzer, the CEO of Spire goes on to claim “Spire is all about helping our customers know what is next, so they can make better decisions,” where Platzer is excited about the fact that “This month we are moving this forward by launching a true super-computer into orbit – 1-2 teraflops! – so that we can analyse data right in orbit, using smart algorithms and machine learning.”
Developed under a European Space Agency (ESA) pioneer program, these satellites have been a direct product of the partnership project co-funded by the UK Space Agency. Now that these nanosatellites have officially launched into orbit, this is most certainly a development to keep an eye in the coming future, as the benefits associated with this project could positively impact the lives and businesses of thousands across the globe, with the sky being the limit of just how successful this launch can be.