AO: What is Skybox Imaging?
SKYBOX: Skybox is a data and analysis company that extracts information from satellite imagery. From the number of ships in the Panama Canal to the volume of oil in a Saudi refinery, we approach the world as one enormous data science problem with a focus on providing global businesses access to timely imagery, video, and analytics to help them make smarter, more informed business decisions. We launched our first high-resolution imaging and video-capable satellite, SkySat-1, in Nov. 2013; SkySat-2 is scheduled to launch around the middle of this year aboard a Soyuz rocket, followed by SkySat-3 which is scheduled to launch in late 2014. Looking ahead beyond 2014, we are on track to launch our first block of six commercial high-resolution imaging and video-capable satellites from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base aboard an Orbital Sciences Minotaur-C launch vehicle. We plan to have our full constellation of 24 satellites in orbit within the next five years, at which point we will be able to revisit any point on Earth up to five to seven times per day.
The Skybox founders, Dan Berkenstock, Julian Mann, John Fenwick, and Ching-Yu Hu, met in a graduate entrepreneurship class at Stanford in 2008 where they wrote the first business plan for Skybox as part of the class project. We were incorporated shortly thereafter.
AO: What sensors do your satellites carry? Who built them? Do you plan to add different sensors in the future?
SKYBOX: We completely designed, built, and tested our first two satellites—SkySat-1 and SkySat-2—in house. Over the last few years, we have designed a completely new imaging chain comprising high performance optics, sensors, and cameras.