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Axelspace Deal Lands SkyFi Access to Red-edge Images

Axelspace Partners with SkyFi

Axelspace is taking the mystery out of space and putting it to work for earthly businesses, researchers, enthusiasts, and problem solvers. The company is bringing multi-satellite technologies within reach, making the Tokyo-based firm a strong partner for SkyFi, the satellite-imaging enterprise that is democratizing earth observation (EO).

By coordinating low-earth-orbit (LEO) images from its five operational satellites, Axelspace not only delivers pristine imaging but also enables comprehensive real-time visibility into current conditions.

SkyFi CEO, Luke Fischer, signing agreement with Axelspace
SkyFi CEO, Luke Fischer, signing agreement with Axelspace

SkyFi and Axelsapce have reached an understanding to establish a framework of strategic partnership in providing the images taken by its GRUS 100-kilogram smallsats operating in sun-synchronous orbit at 585 kilometers into its constellation. GRUS takes grayscale photos in sharp 2.5-meter ground resolution in panchromatic bands as well as six multispectral bands in the blue, green, red, red edge, and near-infrared bands. 

SkyFi is aggressively expanding its network of partners that can share images taken from already-deployed satellites. These in-orbit resources are instrumental in the company’s plan to make satellite imagery available from users’ desktops and mobile devices. Streamlining the ordering process and bringing transparency to pricing is destined to revolutionize the way insightful satellite imagery is obtained and analyzed, noted Kammy Brun, SkyFi’s VP of Strategy & Business Development.

She explained that while Axelspace’s existing catalog and imaging functionality expand SkyFi’s resources overall, she is especially excited about GRUS' capability to provide red-edge band photographs.

“Axelspace will offer additional medium resolution satellite imagery to our end-consumer, allowing us to offer red-edge band imaging which is something we do not currently offer in our library,” she said.

Despite their diminutive stature and footprint, GRUS incorporate the latest optical and sensor technology to deliver image swaths 55 kilometers wide for highly efficient earth coverage and high-frequency revisits of the terrain.

Medium-resolution red-edge band imagery has proven to be a superior method for identifying agricultural crops, forests, and other vegetation experiencing stress. This early-warning system empowers farmers, environmentalists, and agriculture agencies to determine causation and act to quarantine diseases, initiate pest control measures, and save crops and trees. The applications in agriculture, land use, and urban planning, marine monitoring, and infrastructure monitoring could transform those industries and conform to both companies’ vision of environmental stewardship.

“Our vision is ‘space within your reach.’ We want to deliver our service to everybody on this planet,” said Axelspace President and CEO, Yuya Nakamura. “We want to provide [business-to-consumer] services, the next generation of service in earth observation and remote sensing.”

The deal with Axelspace also furthers SkyFi’s efforts to partner with imaging companies around the globe. Arrangements with international firms reduces SkyFi’s supply chain and geopolitical risk much like adding the GRUS satellites will give customers a wider selection of images and mitigate limits and constraints regarding coverage, revisit rate, resolution, swath width, and other variables.

Axelspace is one of 14 SkyFi partners delivering either satellite imagery or artificial intelligence-enabled image data analysis. Building a comprehensive library of EO images is key to SkyFi’s business model that empowers local governments, organizations, and even private individuals to purchase new or existing images from their personal devices, order online, and pay a reasonable, transparent fee.