NorthStar Developing Prototype Earth Observation System for Marine and Coastal Tracking

NorthStar Developing Prototype Earth Observation System for Marine and Coastal Tracking

NorthStar, based near Montréal, said on July 22 that it is collaborating with the Canadian Coast Guard on the project, which will use an airborne hyperspectral sensor system to monitor vulnerable maritime and coastal ecosystems.

FREMONT, CA: NorthStar Earth & Space, a startup constructing a satellite tracking network, has received Canadian government financing for a prototype Earth observation monitoring system to tackle climate change.

NorthStar, based near Montréal, said on July 22 that it is collaborating with the Canadian Coast Guard on the project, which will use an airborne hyperspectral sensor system to monitor vulnerable maritime and coastal ecosystems.

According to NorthStar CEO Stewart Bain, the endeavor builds on past airborne flights in which a hyperspectral imager was connected to a plane to watch land tracks in order to calibrate its future satellites.

Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC), a branch of Canada's Department of National Defence, is investing $1.2 million in the project.

It is valued at a total of 2.7 million Canadian dollars and is comprised of a complex exchange of in-kind services from NorthStar and other partners.

The initiative, which will run until the first quarter of 2024, is also supported by Quebec's Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) Centre for Water, Land, and Environment.

In an interview, Bain stated that NorthStar is also investigating comparable systems with partners he declined to name in pipeline monitoring, agriculture, forestry, and water quality.

The declaration on July 22 is one of the first for NorthStar's Earth observation division, which recently contracted Thales Alenia Space to build three satellites for space situational awareness (SSA) services.

According to Bain, NorthStar chose "a couple of years ago" to decouple the necessity for both sides of the business to run from the same satellite, allowing one to wait for the other if necessary.

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