Home » UK start-up launches satellite to map energy-inefficient buildings

UK start-up launches satellite to map energy-inefficient buildings

by Liam Turner
A rocket taking the Satellite Vu HotSat-1 satellite up into space

A UK start-up has launched a satellite that can measure the heat output from any building on the planet from space.

London-based Satellite Vu said the HotSat-1 spacecraft will act as “the first thermometer in the sky” and help to combat the climate emergency.

The data from the satellite can help identify buildings that are less energy inefficient and inform retroffiting and insulation strategies.

HotSat-1 uses thermal imaging technology to measure the energy efficiency of buildings and assess heat loss.

The satellite features a 3.5m resolution mid-wave infrared imager with video capability and a sensitivity of less than 2°C.

The video generation capability on board the satellite can detect dynamic features and create 3D profiles, which can be used for a variety of applications.

According to the manufacturer of the satellite, Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, HotSat-1’s geospatial data will enable strategic planning to accelerate decarbonisation globally.

SatVu says it expects to receive first images in July and start commercial operations in October. 

Anthony Baker, CEO and founder of SatVu, said: “This is an incredible achievement for the team, our stakeholders, our partners who worked with us to make today a reality, and our investors, who have supported our vision for a better future.

“Having our first satellite in orbit is a phenomenal moment for us all, opening up a vast range of applications for a more sustainable planet, and we are all so excited about the future and the next stages of our growth.”

Dr Paul Bate, chief executive at the UK Space Agency, said: “This is a brilliant example of UK technology leading the way in using space to improve sustainability, as the data it provides will bring a clearer picture of the impact our energy use has on the planet, empowering organisations across sectors to make better and more climate-conscious choices.”

The launch follows SatVu’s recent completion of its A2 funding round, where the firm successfully raised £12.7m.

Last month, Leeds City Council used an aerial thermal imaging technique developed by Satellite Vu to identify the heat loss from houses in the city.

The pilot aimed to demonstrate how innovative technology could help reduce the environmental impact of housing in Leeds and elsewhere by making homes more efficient.

Image: A rocket taking the Satellite Vu HotSat-1 satellite up into space. Credit: Satellite Vu

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