Finnish space tech Kuva Space awarded a €1.8M ESA contract

Kuva Space, an Espoo-based space tech company specializing in hyperspectral satellite technology and AI-driven insights, has been awarded a €1.8 million contract to participate in the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Civil Security from Space (CSS) program. This funding will bolster Kuva Space’s efforts to enhance border surveillance across the Baltic region.

  • Kuva Space builds a microsatellite constellation equipped with a hyperspectral camera that can distinguish nearly any material on Earth and its condition through its distinct spectral signature. The company can monitor crop types, plant health and biomass, biodiversity, soil conditions, seaweed growth, algae blooms, and marine chemical pollutants to solve such pressing issues as climate change, food security, safety, and security.
  • In November 2023, Kuva Space announced €16.6 million in a Series A round. The investment was backed by Voima Ventures, Nordic Foodtech VC, Earth VC, Springvest, and Business Finland.

Details of the ESA contract

  • Within the 3-year R&D program, Kuva Space will test and develop on-board hyperspectral data processing, Sat-to-Sat, and Sat-to-IoT mobile communication, demonstrated with a field study with the Finnish authorities, dedicated to enhancing border surveillance by detecting and rediscovering illegal along the Baltic Sea area between Finland, Estonia, and Sweden.
  • Austria, Belgium, Finland, Portugal, and Switzerland under ESA have contributed funding to create SMART-CONNECT, a consortium of various technology actors led by Austrian company Geoville. Under SMART-CONNECT, such companies as Kuva Space, Epic Blue, INOV, Klepsydra, neXat, Sistema and VITO will put their effort to revolutionize crisis communication for swift data exchange and timely provision of actionable information in emergency situations.

Kuva Space’s future plans

Together with the Finnish authorities, Kuva Space will launch the automatic detection of marine vessels using hyperspectral imaging, creating an alert in case of no Automatic Identification Systems signal from the vessel. In addition, Kuva Space will develop calibrated and analytics data products on board to automatically detect wildfires and landslide scarps, as well as provide their coordinates to civil security platforms to the ground station through SMART-CONNECT.

Kuva Space will also launch two hyperspectral satellites and its initial services in 2024. The first one, Hyperfield-1, is scheduled to launch in July 2024, and will consist of up to 100 satellites by 2030.