The Catalyst Space Accelerator in Colorado Springs will host a new group of eight startups, including its first international participant, during the next 11 weeks to develop technology for space-based intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
Kleos, a Luxembourg firm that provides radio frequency data from its low-Earth orbit satellites to detect illegal fishing, smuggling and trafficking, was accepted into the Catalyst accelerator. It made a pitch last month to Space Capital Colorado, which provides up to $15,000 per company for the expenses of participating in the program. The accelerator, which helps space startups with guidance and capital, is sponsored by the Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate and hosted at the Catalyst Campus for Technology and Innovation.
The eight companies are the largest class the accelerator has hosted since it began operating in January 2018. The program accepted two companies focused on weather in its initial session, six companies focused on positioning, navigation and timing in a second session last fall and seven focused on communications in a third session this spring. The accelerator solicited participants in June and received 27 applicants, heard presentations from 12 and picked the eight to participate.
“We are excited about the eight companies and are confident they will provide good technologies for the warfighter,” said KiMar Gartman, the program director for the accelerator.
The program began Tuesday. Executives and founders from the eight companies will meet every other week at Catalyst Campus, a space and technology-focused office complex east of downtown Colorado Springs, for workshops, mentoring on how to work with military and government agencies and a demonstration day on Nov. 21 to make pitches for funding from government and commercial investors.
The other seven companies are:
• Capella Space of San Francisco, which is building a network of 36 small satellites to monitor locations hourly for commerce, conservation and security.
• Chandah Space Technologies of Sugar Land, Texas, is building a network of small satellites for commercial in-orbit inspection and situational awareness.
• ExoTerra Imaging of Littleton is building a commercial network of small satellites for weather observation to replace the 40-year-old Defense Meteorological Satellite Program.
• HyperVerge of Los Altos, Calif., is developing artificial intelligence to process high-resolution satellite images .
• MemComputing of San Diego is developing high-performance cloud computing for drug design, financial portfolio design, energy demand forecasting, resource planning and machine learning.
• Rhea Space Activity of Washington, D.C., is a space-focused consulting firm helping startups working with the U.S. intelligence community and Department of Defense.
• Space-Eyes of Camden, N.J., provides maritime surveillance and intelligence through its satellite, using artificial intelligence to identify threats.
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