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Kuva Space Secures ESA Contract for Hyperspectral Data

Kuva Space, a pioneering Finnish startup, has clinched a significant contract worth 1.8 million euros ($1.93 million) with the European Space Agency (ESA) to supply hyperspectral data. This collaboration, announced on April 29, marks a milestone in ESA’s pursuit of advanced technologies to enhance civil security.

Supporting Finnish Agencies

Under the contract, Kuva Space will develop onboard data processing capabilities and rapid communications links tailored to the needs of Finnish government agencies. These agencies are primarily focused on addressing crucial issues such as border security, wildfires, and landslides.

Rapid Detection of Illegal Activities

The three-year research and development program aims to equip Kuva Space with the capacity to swiftly deliver hyperspectral data. This data will play a pivotal role in detecting and responding to illegal activities, particularly along the Baltic Sea area encompassing Finland, Estonia, and Sweden. Notably, Kuva Space will provide alerts in cases where maritime vessels deactivate their Automatic Identification System signal, ensuring timely intervention.

ESA’s Civil Security from Space Initiative

This contract is part of ESA’s Civil Security from Space (CSS) program, which aims to leverage space technologies for humanitarian, law enforcement, safety, and emergency response purposes. By collaborating with Kuva Space, ESA seeks to empower civil security organizations with crucial geospatial data and communication capabilities, thereby bolstering crisis response efforts.

Enriching Crisis Response Capabilities

Christopher Topping, ESA’s acting CSS program director, emphasized the significance of integrating new technological innovations into crisis response frameworks. He highlighted the value of Kuva Space’s contributions in enriching the crisis response toolkit, underscoring the importance of partnerships in addressing global challenges.

Future Prospects: Hyperspectral Constellation

Kuva Space, buoyed by a successful Series A funding round that raised 16.6 million euros last year, is poised for significant expansion. The company is set to launch its first hyperspectral imaging satellite in July, with plans for a second satellite and initial services later in the year. By 2030, Kuva Space aims to operate a constellation of 100 satellites, further enhancing its capacity to deliver critical hyperspectral data.

Pioneering Hyperspectral Applications

Gordon Campbell, enterprise head for ESA’s Earth Observation Programme Directorate, lauded Kuva Space’s pioneering work in the hyperspectral domain. He emphasized the transformative potential of hyperspectral data in advancing civil security applications, positioning Kuva Space as a key player within ESA’s Smart-Connect consortium.

Continual Collaboration

This latest contract builds upon Kuva Space’s previous successes, including a 5 million euro contract secured in 2023 to provide hyperspectral data for the European Union Copernicus program. As Kuva Space continues to push the boundaries of hyperspectral technology, its partnership with ESA underscores a shared commitment to innovation and global security.


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