Open Cosmos launches groundbreaking Hyperspectral ‘HAMMER’ Satellite


arwell, UK – 5th March 2023 — Leading space technology and data company Open Cosmos, has successfully launched HAMMER, its latest Earth Observation (EO) satellite. 

After a successful lift off from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California onboard SpaceX's Falcon 9 as part of the Transporter 10 mission, we received confirmation of the successful deployment of HAMMER from the Exolaunch deployer and, on first pass over the ground station, satellite operators at our Open Cosmos Control centre received a strong signal from the satellite and started downloading telemetry nominally.

HAMMER, which stands for Hyperspectral AI for Marine Monitoring and Emergency Response, is an In Orbit Demonstration (IOD) satellite, built in collaboration with the Satellite Applications Catapult, that will host a miniaturised Earth observation payload alongside integrated onboard processing capabilities, developed by Ubotica Technologies. The satellite will acquire, process, compress, store, and forward medium-resolution hyperspectral imagery for Atlantic coastal and high sea areas.

Alongside this, HAMMER will also give a quick and effective response to natural disasters due to its compatibility and interoperability with existing Earth observation networks, enabling collaboration with other satellites and ground-based systems for comprehensive monitoring and emergency response.

Key Technical Features of Hammer

Hyperspectral Camera: HAMMER boasts a hyper spectral camera, capable of delivering unparalleled resolution and clarity for Earth observation. Hyperspectral imaging captures images across hundreds of narrow spectral bands, offering detailed information about the composition of objects or scenes. By analysing the unique spectral signatures of materials, hyperspectral imaging enables applications in agriculture and environmental monitoring, among others.

AI processing: The integration of AI boards in HAMMER enables real-time, onboard data analysis, enhancing responsiveness to dynamic environmental changes without ground station transmission and human intervention. This boosts efficiency, optimises resource use, and enhances intelligence for disaster response, agriculture, and urban planning. Additionally, it increases autonomy for immediate decision-making in emergencies.

Inter-Satellite Link: Inter-Satellite Linking ensures continuous data transmission for global coverage. It also reduces latency, and increases data throughput, crucial for real-time applications. Additionally, inter-satellite linking provides flexibility, security, and cost-effectiveness, allowing seamless integration and efficient operations within satellite constellations.

Integration with OpenConstellation

HAMMER is the latest addition to the OpenConstellation, Open Cosmos' mutualised satellite infrastructure. The OpenConstellation facilitates shared access to satellite data, reducing costs and increasing data quality and frequency, allowing partners to benefit from broader global coverage and more frequent re-visit times. Open Cosmos manages full mission operations, providing access to diverse data types and third-party tools through the DataCosmos platform.

Oriol Aragon Casaled, Mission Manager at Open Cosmos:

“HAMMER truly is a game changer for Open Cosmos and a satellite that is sure to disrupt the market. The inclusion of a hyperspectral camera and AI board ensure the most advanced imaging in the market, while the inter-satellite linking makes data available in almost real time. This means our customers don’t have to wait days, or even hours, for insights from their areas of interest - they can get them in minutes. For us, HAMMER is setting a new standard for Earth Observation satellites”

Gary Cannon, Space Sector Lead at the Satellite Applications Catapult

“HAMMER has been designed, built and tested by Open Cosmos at their facilities in Harwell, UK, using the Satellite Applications Catapult’s In Orbit Demonstration programme that provides technical, quality and programmatic support and access to specialist facilities. This 6U LEO satellite will demonstrate innovative technologies and deliver new near real-time capabilities to parties monitoring maritime regions and environments. With AI to assist in tasking, high resolution hyperspectral imaging and onboard processing, and inter-satellite links to convey data in near real-time, HAMMER is advancing satellite technologies and proving their value in marine and other applications”