An artist's render of Kuva Space's satellites orbiting the Earth. Credits: Kuva Space

Kuva Space Secures €1.8M ESA Contract for Civil Security from Space Program

Kuva Space secures ESA contract to enhance civil security from space through hyperspectral insights and rapid response services

Kuva Space, a Finnish hyperspectral satellite and AI-powered insights company, has recently been awarded a substantial €1.8 million contract to participate in the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Civil Security from Space (CSS) program.

The initiative aims to bolster advanced hyperspectral situational awareness for monitoring and mitigating civil security and crisis events.

An artist's render of Kuva Space's satellites orbiting the Earth. Credits: Kuva Space
An artist’s render of Kuva Space’s satellites orbiting the Earth. Credits: Kuva Space

Established in Espoo, Finland, in 2016, Kuva Space pioneers a microsatellite constellation equipped with patented hyperspectral cameras. This technology aims to address global challenges like climate change and food security. With advanced AI analytics, the company provides actionable insights for sustainable resource management and enhanced profitability.


The CSS and SMART-CONNECT programs

Under the CSS, Civil Security from Space program, Kuva Space will embark on a three-year Research and Development (R&D) endeavor to test and refine on-board hyperspectral data processing, satellite-to-satellite (Sat-to-Sat), and satellite-to-Internet of Things (Sat-to-IoT) mobile communication capabilities.

The primary focus will be on demonstrating rapid response services in collaboration with the Finnish authorities, particularly in enhancing border surveillance along the Baltic Sea area shared by Finland, Estonia, and Sweden.

The CSS program, designed to leverage spaceborne solutions for humanitarian responses, law enforcement, safety, and emergency events, is a collaborative effort involving five nations under ESA: Austria, Belgium, Finland, Portugal, and Switzerland.

Kuva Space’s involvement in the program is facilitated through its participation in the SMART-CONNECT consortium, led by Austrian company Geoville. The consortium aims to revolutionize crisis communication by facilitating swift data exchange and providing timely actionable information during emergency situations.

ESA's SMART-CONNECT Programme. Credits: ESA
ESA’s SMART-CONNECT Programme. Credits: ESA

“Bringing information on any emergency events to first responders as fast as we can has a huge environmental, humanitarian, and security impact. We look forward to collaboratively developing a robust solution to test the end-to-end delivery of insights to the user as part of the CSS program,” said Jarkko Antila, CEO of Kuva Space.

Hyperspectral data, an integral component of Kuva Space’s technology suite, offers a myriad of applications within the civil security domain. Gordon Campbell, Head of Enterprise within ESA’s Earth Observation Programmes Directorate, lauded Kuva Space‘s contribution to the SMART-CONNECT consortium.

“The multi-platform constellation ensures fast revisit, along with the potential for extended persistence and fast tipping – or cueing – that allows for timely and relevant information to reach the hands of first responders when it is needed,” Campbell said in a statement.


Kuva Space is looking ahead

In collaboration with Finnish authorities, the company plans to demonstrate the automatic detection of marine vessels using hyperspectral imaging and advanced AI algorithms. Additionally, the company aims to develop calibrated data products for automatic wildfire and landslide detection, ensuring swift transmission to civil security platforms through the SMART-CONNECT infrastructure.

The SMART-CONNECT project underscores the value of cross-disciplinary collaborations and technological innovations in addressing challenges inherent in disaster response efforts. “The project addresses some of the major challenges in disaster response: the lack of fast acquisition, smart data interpretation, and efficient information distribution to responders of crisis events,” said Christopher Topping, ESA’s Acting Head of the Civil Security from Space program.

Looking ahead, Kuva Space remains committed to its mission of building the world’s most extensive hyperspectral satellite constellation and delivering AI-powered insights-as-a-service. With plans to launch its initial services in 2024 and deploy up to 100 satellites by 2030, the company is poised to make significant strides in the field of space-based hyperspectral imaging.

In recent years, Kuva Space has garnered notable recognition for its contributions to space innovation, including a €5 million commercial contract for hyperspectral data services with the EU Copernicus program in 2023, and winning the NATO Innovation Challenge for its AI-driven analytics for enhanced Arctic monitoring capabilities.


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Edoardo Giammarino

Edoardo Giammarino

Co-Founder & CEO. Drummer and Red Cross Volunteer, born in 1997. I like analog photography and videomaking. Firmly music-addicted.

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