San Jose-based Hera Systems is revealing its plans to launch the first of the company’s satellites that will capture high-resolution images and video in near-real time. Hera Systems has secured its initial round of investment funding and is set to begin initial launches in October 2016.
The company says it plans to collect fresh, intelligent, one-meter and higher resolution imagery and video of any location on the globe. It will make the products, along with analytics and derived information, easily accessible on-demand via mobile applications.
“What we’ve learned from talking with customers and watching this industry closely for the past 16 years is that people don’t want to go to multiple providers for their imagery and analytics needs,” says Bobby Machinski, CEO of Hera Systems. “Today’s customers want and expect a variety of features and intelligent analytics capabilities from a single source, and they expect a very high value for every dollar spent.”
Hera Systems recently completed its Series A round of investment funding, with Firsthand Capital as the lead investor. The funding has allowed Hera Systems to complete the development of a mockup satellite that demonstrates its technology, purchase components for the construction of the initial satellites and make commitments to launch opportunities. Hera Systems successfully completed the preliminary design review for the spacecraft in October.
The company’s initial constellation will comprise nine satellites. Featuring “sun-synchronous” and “inclined orbit” capabilities, the satellites will enable coverage of the entire globe and at varying times during the day. As market demand grows, Hera Systems will expand its constellation to include 48 satellites to provide near-hourly updates.
Over the past year, Machinski and his team have focused on developing spacecraft design and capabilities, including communications systems and protocols, and the basic architecture for secure data-cloud and supporting web services.
“In the coming weeks, we will announce additional plans for satellites beyond our 1-meter system, as well as major partnering arrangements we’re securing with customers,” Machinski says. “Right now, we’re focused on securing additional funding to get us through the next milestones that get us closer to launch.”
Hera Systems’ staff currently includes nearly 30 team members with deep expertise and over 200 years of combined experience in aerospace and related technology industries. Machinski expects to double the team’s size within the next year.
The company will primarily serve commercial and government organizations that need to monitor the Earth’s constantly changing features and make smart decisions on a daily basis. Applications range from agricultural crop monitoring and infrastructure monitoring, to national security needs assessments.
About Hera Systems
Hera Systems is a satellite information and analytics company that collects images of the Earth every day, enabling commercial and government organizations to monitor change and make smart decisions in near-real time. Hera Systems’ initial satellite constellation will enable customers to acquire imagery and video, as well as intelligent analytics and derived information, on demand through a simplified user interface.