Just two years after it was set up in San Francisco, satellite data and analytics firm Spire Global made a strategic push to expand into Asia, and Singapore was the natural choice for its regional headquarters.
Spire was attracted by the Asian aviation and shipping hub’s proximity and connectivity to the region, its talent pool and the Singapore Government’s strong support for the aerospace sector.
It set up its regional HQ here in 2014, along with a R&D site which is one of just three worldwide for the company. Since then, Spire has been recruiting talent from universities in Singapore to build up its global engineering team and drive innovations in its services.
Spire sees fast-growing demand from Asia for its services, which involve capturing maritime, weather and aviation information using nano-satellites, and then analysing this data to help companies solve challenges as varied as helping ports manage sea traffic as well as tackling piracy and illegal fishing.
Customers have turned to Spire to help them track ships in the open-ocean where fleets are outside the range of conventional tracking. Spire combines its space-based technology with terrestrial data to provide frequent updates about ships no matter where they are on the planet.
Activities that previously took place undetected can now be identified via their satellite constellation. Spire’s multi-sensor satellites also provide a range of data types including weather payloads that measure temperature, pressure, and moisture as well as aircraft tracking.
Nanosatellites, which can fit into a handbag, are growing in popularity as the technology matures, launch costs steadily declines and commercial applications increase. Spire has built and launched 52 such satellites since 2011, reflecting Singapore’s strong satellite engineering capabilities.