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SA’s first manufactured microsatellite since 2009 is preparing for launch from Cape Canaveral in the US

The world’s first agri-focused satellite prepares for launch from Cape Canaveral. Picture: Dragonfly Aerospace Supplied

The world’s first agri-focused satellite prepares for launch from Cape Canaveral. Picture: Dragonfly Aerospace Supplied

Published Jan 2, 2023


Cape Town - Cape Canaveral’s SpaceX’s launch site is preparing for the launch of the first imaging satellite to be developed by Dragonfly Aerospace as part of the Transporter-6 mission on Tuesday.

The satellite is the first of a seven-satellite constellation in low Earth orbit for customer EOSDA (EOS Data Analytics) and the remaining six satellites of the constellation will be deployed over the next three years.

Bryan Dean CEO at Dragonfly Aerospace. Picture: Dagonfly Aerospace/Supplied

EOS SAT is the world’s first agriculture-focused satellite constellation providing the agriculture and forestry industry with high-quality data to support efficient and sustainable practices.

According to Dragonfly Aerospace CEO and Co-founder, Bryan Dean, images obtained from Dragonfly’s EOS SAT-1 will deliver valuable information for harvest monitoring, application mapping, seasonal planning and assessments that analyse information such as soil moisture, yield prediction and biomass levels.

“This data will support growers with reducing carbon dioxide emissions and help them to develop sustainable agricultural methods,” Dean said.

Dean also said that such information will have important environmental benefits for the planet and help prevent natural habitats from being diminished for crop growth and maintain biodiversity.

“Equipped with two DragonEye electro-optical imagers, EOS SAT-1 will provide 44km swath panchromatic and multispectral imagery across 11 spectral bands at close to 1m resolution – making it one of the most capable imaging satellites in LEO,” he said.

“This is a key moment for Dragonfly Aerospace, and we are thrilled to be delivering EOS SAT-1 with a number of firsts – the first imaging satellite designed and built by Dragonfly, the first microsatellite to be manufactured in South Africa since 2009, the first satellite of the EOS SAT constellation and the first agri-focused constellation in space.

He further revealed that “this has been an important project for our whole team and has allowed us to demonstrate our capabilities, not just in producing high-performance electro-optical imagers, but in designing and manufacturing a full imaging satellite system.

“We are extremely excited and waiting in anticipation for the SpaceX Transporter-6 launch.”

“We look forward to supporting EOSDA with its mission to launch the next six satellites by 2025,” Dean said.