NOAA Grants Satellogic Remote Sensing License as Company Looks to Boost US Business
Satellogic on Tuesday said it has received a remote sensing license from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a key milestone in the company’s quest to expand its U.S. government business.
The small manufacturer and operator of multispectral imaging satellites for Earth observation is also in the process of redomiciling to Delaware from the British Virgin Islands, a move expected to be completed in the first half of 2024, another milestone in its pursuit of more U.S. government business.
Having a U.S. headquarters is not a requirement to sell to the U.S. government, but with heightened global tensions Satellogic has seen a shift in U.S. outlook on working with foreign companies around “sensitive Earth observation technologies.” Being based in the British Virgin Islands “creates way too much confusion for the U.S. government customer,” Matt Tirman, the company’s president, told Defense Daily. Registering in the U.S. “might be far easier” to work with the government, he said.
Satellogic in 2024 also hopes to complete a facility security clearance process so that it can provide classified services to the U.S. government, Tirman said.
Satellogic expects to generate between $10 million and $20 million in sales this year and is projecting between $60 million and $90 million in revenue in 2025. The company is currently operating at a loss and projects to turn an operating profit as early as 2024.
The company operates more than 40 satellites and generates its revenue by selling directly to customers, such as the Albanian government, and value-added resellers that purchase the multispectral imagery and enhance it with analytic model, Tirman said. Satellogic’s sales to U.S. government end markets are currently through its partners, he said. Intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, and analytical companies already have federal contracts with the government to provide open-source intelligence and data fusion products, Tirman said.
“It’s a partner driven approach into the U.S. government” in 2024, he said.
More than 80% of the current Earth observation market is with the U.S. and its allies, Tirman said, adding that over the next five years this will remain the dominant driver for commercial remote sensing imagery. This market includes defense, intelligence, and civil agency customers, he said.
As Satellogic positions to do more business in the U.S., Tirman said the end customers that will drive sales include the U.S. Space Force, U.S. Combatant Commands, other Defense Department entities, NASA, NOAA, and other civilian agencies.
Satellogic builds its satellites in Uruguay. The company has offices and locations in Montevideo, Uruguay; Buenos Aires and Córdoba, Argentina; Barcelona, Spain; and North Carolina.