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Nuview reveals backers including actor Leonardo DiCaprio

Nuview reveals backers including actor Leonardo DiCaprio

 


SAN FRANCISCO Nuview, a startup planning to establish a constellation of light detection and ranging (lidar) satellites, has announced investments from US and European venture capital funds as well as actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio .

We see a lot of opportunity in working with Mr. DiCaprio over the next few years to raise awareness both nationally and with groups like the United Nations and the World Bank, said Clint Graumann, CEO and co-founder of Nuview. SpaceNews.

Nuview, based in Orlando, Florida, is not yet disclosing how much money it has raised to date. TechCrunch reported on June 6 that the startup had $15 million raised to dateincluding $12 million in an ongoing Series A round.

Series A participants, led by MaC Venture Capital, include Broom Ventures, Cortado Ventures, Florida Funders, Industrious, Liquid2 and Veto Capital.

Since Nuview, founded in 2021, exited stealth mode in May, the company has revealed a $2.75 million contract from National Security Innovation Capital, an organization created in 2021 in the Defense Innovation Unit to support early-stage startups developing dual-use hardware. Additionally, Nuview has secured $1.1 billion in early adoption agreements promising customers rapid access to geospatial data collected by its planned constellation of 20 dishwasher-sized satellites, Graumann said. .

Mr Spoc

Nuview plans to launch a proof-of-concept space satellite called Mr. Spoc in just over two years. The satellite will provide data to early Nuview users.

After that, we will launch 20 commercial satellites, five at a time, Graumann said.

To date, lidar data has been collected by airborne platforms and government satellites like NASA’s IceSat-2 launched in 2018. In recent years, a key sensor that Nuview plans to fly has been declassified.

When you combine that with some of our proprietary technologies around large-scale surveillance, it gives us unique capabilities, Graumann said.

Paul McManamon, chief science officer of Nuview and former chief scientist of the Air Force Research Laboratories Sensor Branch, has applied for or been granted more than two dozen patents, many related to optics and photonics. . Jack Hild, former deputy director of source operations for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, is a senior adviser to Nuview. Nuviews CTO Patrick Baker has worked extensively with onboard lidar.

We’ve picked one of the toughest Earth observation challenges you can face, but we’ve hired the best people in the business to do it, Graumann said.

The Promise of Lidar

After years of working with geospatial data providers and customers through TerraMetric, a consulting firm Graumann also runs, he co-founded Nuview to meet the widespread demand for lidar.

“No matter what type of dataset we were working with, whether it was optical, radar, thermal or hyperspectral, customers were always mentioning lidar,” Graumann said. They said if we could get lidar data as the basis for what we’re building, everything would be better.

Lidar is popular due to its accuracy.

Every collection with lidar is natively 3D, Graumann said. It allows us to see through a canopy of trees to get a 3D rendering of what’s below. You can create surface models at the top of the canopy as well as terrain models of what’s below in a single collection.

And the Nuviews lidar will provide centimeter accuracy, Graumann said.

While lidar data is often collected from aircraft, Graumann observed a “pent up demand for lidar data” from places “difficult to fly over by aircraft”.

Leonardo DiCaprio

Earth observation data have important environmental applications.

The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation established a nonprofit in 1998 to support organizations protecting wildlife, preserving endangered ecosystems and fighting climate change.

Nuview expects its data products to encourage “good land use management,” Graumann said, with respect to “carbon monitoring in forestry and agriculture.”

When Nuview was looking for someone to help the company publicize the climate applications of its technology, Graumann reached out to DiCaprio staff. DiCaprio “wanted to see how lidar could be used for climatology and environmental purposes,” Graumann said. “We put it all together and it worked really well.”

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