Venture Capital, the strategic investment arm of space and technology group OHB, has invested in ConstellR, whose mission aims at supporting human food security, OHB said.
The Freiburg-based start-up, a spin-off from Fraunhofer’s Ernst-Mach-Institut, wants to send a constellation of microsatellites into space that are able to monitor the thermal infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum. This is supposed to deliver “almost instantaneous indicators of water stress in plants as well as early drought indications, allowing precision irrigation practices to be applied”.
“For agriculture, this will give the possibility for a significant reduction in water usage, while increasing the food production per hectare,” OHB said. “This is highly relevant for our future society as climate change increases the frequency of droughts while at the same time global population growth leads to an increased demand for clean water and food security.”
In addition to their financial investment agreement, OHB and ConstellR want to cooperate in the development of payloads and market applications for the data generated.