Hydrosat shows how its thermal imagery technology provides insights to increase crop yields. Credit: Hydrosat

SAN FRANCISCO — Geospatial analytics company Hydrosat announced its first contract with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration April 4.

Under the $175,000 Small Business Innovation Research contract, Hydrosat will provide high-resolution measurement of Earth-surface temperatures and geotechnical analysis to offer insights for wildfire, drought, urban heat, agriculture and aquaculture monitoring.

“This contract is significant because it is Hydrosat’s first contract with NOAA,” Pieter Fossel, Hydrosat co-founder and CEO, told SpaceNews by email. “The work performed under this contract is pushing the frontier in spaceborne and cloud-enabled surface temperature monitoring, and is closely aligned to NOAA’s missions in weather, water and climate monitoring.”

Hydrosat gathers thermal infrared imagery globally and analyzes the data to produce crop-yield forecasts and irrigation tools. The Washington-based startup has signed agreements with the National Reconnaissance Office and the U.S. Air Force. Hydrosat, founded in 2017, has raised more than $32 million in venture capital, according to the April 4 news release. In June, Hydrosat acquired IrriWatch, a Netherlands company that delivers daily climate, crop, soil and irrigation updates to farmers.

“NOAA’s SBIR program recognizes the value of innovative technology and commercially viable products in the advancement of science, service and stewardship. We’re proud to be selected for this highly competitive grant,” Fossel said in a statement. “With the recent delivery of our first proprietary thermal infrared satellite payload and the anticipated launch of the first of our proprietary satellite missions later this year, Hydrosat is well on its way to delivering critical data insights that will improve our understanding of changes in the climate and weather and enable us to better manage our natural resources.”  

Debra Werner is a correspondent for SpaceNews based in San Francisco. Debra earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University. She...