ESA-backed startup banking on inflation

Aistechsat 1 on Zero 2 Infinity’s sub-orbital platform where testing of satellite components in space-like conditions. Credit: Zero 2 Infinity / AISTech

Aistechsat 1 on Zero 2 Infinity’s sub-orbital platform where testing of satellite components in space-like conditions. Credit: Zero 2 Infinity / AISTech

AISTech, a startup born in 2015 in a European Space Agency incubator in Barcelona, is raising money for a constellation of 25 cubesats to provide multispectral imagery as well as aircraft and maritime communications and tracking.

“Our goal is to provide information to people that today don’t have access to spatial information,” said Carles Franquesa, AISTech co-founder and chief operating officer.  “With this valuable information, organizations will make better decisions.”

In May, AISTech began testing its sensors and communications components by sending one of the cubesats it is developing to an altitude of 30 kilometers on a high-altitude balloon flown by Barcelona-based Zero2Infinity. AISTech plans to conduct additional high-altitude testing of a new camera and to begin working with potential customers to determine how the firm can help them obtain the information they need, Franquesa said.

With data derived from high-altitude testing, AISTech is updating its computer models to ensure they can accurately track ships at sea and aircraft in flight. The firm also is beginning to integrate its first technology demonstration mission scheduled for launch late next year.

 In 2019, AISTech plans to launch the first two satellites of its 25-spacecraft constellation. The entire constellation will be in orbit in 2022, Franquesa said.

AISTech raised 300,000 Euros in its first private investment round. Now, the firm is seeking to raise approximately one million Euros for the launch of its first satellite demonstration mission and to develop its ground infrastructure, Franquesa said.