A Silicon Valley company that had been operating in stealth mode for the past two years has come out into the open, announcing plans and seeking investments. Scepter Inc. told reporters what it had been working on for the past few years: a constellation of satellites meant to monitor the atmosphere on a global level with a focus on studying levels of air pollution. Their intended customers include national and local governments as well as private corporations.
The company received a patent in mid-March, covering the use of specially designed sensors placed into orbit. These sensors receive detailed data regarding the various gasses in the air. They then compare it with other information from other data sources within the constellation, analyze the information, and subsequently present it to governments or corporations. The data can be transmitted as a report or as a visual.
Now that the company has its patent, they hope to raise approximately $15 million in capital through the issuance of Series A shares. These funds are earmarked for use with existing data sources, and eventually are intended to fund the development and launch of a series of satellites. Researchers hope that this constellation can provide hourly updates on air pollution in low Earth orbit.
Scepter Inc. hopes to sell this information to air quality organizations, agricultural and energy companies, insurance agencies, businesses in the health care field, and companies who produce cosmetics. The company’s marketing team has identified at least 14 other industries that can benefit from this type of data.
At the moment, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District in San Francisco is the company’s largest customer. This organization monitors and studies air pollution across the San Francisco Bay. Representatives from that government agency said that they were eager to be involved in Scepter’s newest project. The two organizations have already signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which means that as soon as Scepter can develop the technology, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District plans to purchase it.
Another organization interested in this type of technology is the multi-national Group on Earth Observations. Representatives from this organization believe that the availability of data on air pollution could lead to massive breakthroughs in the study of climate change. They hope that Scepter plans to include this information in a public catalog.
Scepter has not yet decided on which company is going to build the craft it develops, though it does have a pre-established relationship with SSL. The company is also in talks with MDA about the development of ground systems and Radiant Solutions about data processing times. They hope to build a sensitive monitoring system, capable of delivering precise information. Ideally, they want to deliver reports on air pollution levels by city block.