SAN FRANCISCO — Shay Har-Noy, former Spire Global general manager for aviation and a former DigitalGlobe and Maxar Technologies vice president, has taken the helm at Edgybees, a company that specializes in aligning satellite and aerial still and full-motion imagery.
Har-Noy, who previously founded and led geospatial crowdsourcing platform Tomnod, became the CEO of Edgybees to tackle what he sees as the fundamental challenge in the Earth-observation sector now.
“On the commercial space imaging side, the days of data snacking are over,” Har-Noy told SpaceNews. Customers, no longer satisfied with intermittent access to Earth imagery, seek accurate, reliable datasets delivered on a dependable schedule. And customers who acquire multiple datasets, need the imagery to “sing together, to form a coherent and authoritative picture,” Har-Noy said.
What Har-Noy means is that various imagery sources should be georegistered, or linked with exact geographic locations. Plus, satellite imagery captured from various angles, in different spectral bands and light conditions needs to be aligned together, Har-Noy said.
Large Earth-observation satellites such as those built by Airbus Defence and Space and Maxar “have expensive components and incur substantial costs to ensure the accurate precision-pointing of onboard cameras,” Har-Noy said. “While georegistration is still a problem for them, the opportunity for software-based georegistration is particularly ripe for small satellite constellations which offer potential for greater revisit and lower costs.”
Edgybees software “takes imagery from satellite and airborne platforms and makes it consistent and reliable, such that they can be leveraged for AI and for mapping,” Har-Noy said. “We’re making great headway working with some of these commercial operators as well as with end customers.”
“I see an opportunity for the commercial space players to improve their data to meet the specifications their customers demand,” Har-Noy said. “The most discerning customers, governments and large organizations that have contracts with more than one space imaging provider, need to be able to form a common picture by bringing the datasets together.”
Edgybees, founded in 2016 to develop augmented reality video games, quickly pivoted to augmenting full motion video imagery with graphic overlays to provide situational awareness. As a result, “the software was built from the ground up with performance and accuracy as a key tenet,” Har-Noy said.
More recently, Edgybees has rolled out the application of the company’s technology to satellite imagery.
For Edgybees, “satellite is a relatively new venture,” Har-Noy said. “But the software works extremely well and quickly. Combine that with talented founders and an amazing technical team — that’s what piqued my interest.”