NASA buys weather data from Spire Global


Research conducted on a NASA base in California in 2012 on CubeSats, the shoebox-sized satellites that rotate in near-Earth orbit, led to the creation of the data collection company called Spire Global. This company could soon trigger a revolution in the aerospace sector.

To date, Jeroen Cappaert, a Leuven-based mechanical and civil engineer and co-founder of Spire Global, has launched 88 mini satellites into space. They record strategic data which they integrate into a global database which can benefit industries. These data include ship movements around the world on behalf of the merchant navy, ports, coastguards and shipping companies. Cross-referencing some of the data with others adds value. During lockdown, many commercial flights were forced to remain grounded, significantly reducing the number of weather reports. Indeed, aircraft also collect this information, in addition to satellites, weather stations and balloons. Spire Global jumped into the breach. It was one of the first private companies to provide its own data to British and European meteorological institutes and even NASA. After testing, the data from Spire Global proved to be a valuable complement to the observations and measurements made by NASA satellites. The American National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is also showing interest.

With its 250 employees in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Scotland, the United States and Singapore, Spire Global is destined for a bright future.