Orbital Sidekick satellites are designed to observe 472 narrow spectral bands from visible to shortwave infrared. Credit: Orbital Sidekick

SAN FRANCISCO – Hyperspectral imaging startup Orbital Sidekick raised $10 million in an investment round led by Energy Innovation Capital.

“This round is a massive validation of our technology from the energy industry,” Dan Katz, Orbital Sidekick CEO and co-founder told SpaceNews by email. “We’re looking forward to helping our customers use the insights from our intelligence platform to minimize their emissions, meet regulatory requirements and reduce their carbon footprints as part of our collective transition to more sustainable energy systems.”

Energy companies Williams and ONEOK, the University of Minnesota Endowment, 11.2 Capital, Syndicate 708 and In-Q-Tel, the U.S. intelligence community’s strategic investor participated in the funding round. Williams and ONEOK are Orbital Sidekick customers. 11.2 Capital, Syndicate 708 and In-Q-Tel also participated in Orbital Sidekick’s Series A round announced in 2021.

The additional funding comes as Orbital Sidekick prepares to launch its six-satellite Global Hyperspectral Observation Satellite constellation, known as GHOSt.

“Our first two GHOSt satellites are slated to launch this spring aboard a SpaceX Rideshare (Transporter-7), with the broader goal of having a six-satellite GHOSt constellation in orbit by the end of 2023,” Katz said.

Katz called GHOSt “the most advanced hyperspectral imaging satellites that exist today, capturing over 500 bands of light with 20x greater sensitivity than traditional monitoring.”

To meet growing demand for hyperspectral data, Orbital Sidekick intends to “expand the GHOSt constellation to at least 14 satellites and continue growing from there,” Katz said. “The big-picture goal is to have the ability to map every square inch of the globe multiple times a week.”

With GHOSt imagery, Orbital Sidekick customers can observe critical infrastructure like gas and oil pipelines to detect leaks, contamination and other events. Orbital Sidekick data and imagery will help companies “minimize emissions, exceed regulatory requirements and reduce their carbon footprints,” according to the Jan. 31 news release.

Orbital Sidekick launched its first satellite in 2021. Data from the company’s satellites feeds into Orbital Sidekick’s Sigma platform. Customers have used Sigma “to monitor over 12,000 miles of pipelines and flag 100 suspected methane leaks, 200 suspected liquid hydrocarbon leaks” in addition to other noteworthy incidents, according to the news release.

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...