Minimize Spire

spireSpire's constellation of 60+ nanosatellites is designed, built, and operated by Spire out of Glasgow, UK and its European headquarters in Luxembourg. With a diversified launch manifest and the capacity to build up to two satellites per week, Spire's constellation continues to grow. The 28-strong ground station network provides timely data that is processed by Spire and made available through their customer API.

Spire is a data and analytics company that collects data from space to solve problems on Earth. They identify, track, and predict the movement of the world's resources and weather systems by "listening" to the planet in real-time and applying machine learning to understand what will happen in the future. They continue to launch additional satellites and add new payloads to the constellation.

This mission is considered a Third Party Mission under evaluation. The evaluation will tackle cal/val activities and assess the products specifications. This analysis will be performed in the framework of the Earthnet Data Assessment Pilot (EDAP). The evaluation will also allow any interested user to investigate the suitability of the data for scientific and R&D activities.

Minimize Mission News

Three new Third Party Missions under evaluation

29 July 2019

In the framework of the Earthnet programme, ESA and its Member States continue to stimulate global cooperation between space actors around activities aiming to acquire and share resources and knowledge on our planet for the benefit of all citizens.

Recently, it was decided to continue the data assessment of three constellations:

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Spire data familiarization phase for the Earthnet Third Party Mission programme

21 November 2018

ESA and Spire are pleased to announce the opportunity to freely access, up to March 2019, through the Third Party Mission programme, 6 different samples of global Spire satellite data.

Minimize Mission Facts and Figures

Spire's constellation is composed of Lemur nanosatellites with the majority of them officially licensed as Lemur-2 and with the name of a Spire employee.

Spire exclusively use the nanosatellite form factor. They design and build all sub-systems and integrate the spacecraft in their Glasgow facilities.  Spire is on the 18th design iteration of the satellite, aided by on-orbit operational performance and feedback, which gives unparalleled consistency and reliability of performance.

The satellites are 3 axis stabilised and do not use thrusters, have a mass of ~4.6 kg, and are in low-earth orbit (generally around 500km so that they naturally de-orbit) at various inclinations, including equatorial, sun-synchronous and inclinations in between, which gives global coverage and the ability to listen to every spot on earth more than 100 times per day. 

All of Spire's satellites have three on-board software defined radio payloads that were built in-house:

STRATOS makes use of GPS radio occultation measurements to determine temperature, pressure and humidity profiles of Earth's atmosphere for applications in operational meteorology, space weather, and climate.

SENSE is a receiver for AIS (Automatic Identification System) signal reception from ships at sea, providing worldwide tracking (identification, position, course and speed information) plus detailed vessel characteristics for maritime safety.

AIRSAFE uses an ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast) receiver for tracking of aircraft on a global scale.




Launch dates

First launch: 3 August 2013

Orbit Height

~500 km

Orbit type

equatorial, sun-synchronous and inclinations in between


~4.6 kg

Onboard payloads



Minimize Spire Products

Data offer

Spire is making available a sample of global data in a 24-hour period.


Detailed information on the products are available and the possible applications for the full data sets include:

Data Set


Automatic Identification System (AIS)

Supply chain analysis, commodity trading, identification of illegal fishing or dark targets, ship route and fuel use optimization, analysis of global trade patterns, anti-piracy, autonomous vessel software, ocean currents

Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B)

Fleet management, ICAO regulatory compliance, route optimization, predictive maintenance

Total Electron Content (TEC)

Ionospheric modelling

Ionospheric Scintillation Indices

GNSS position error, earthquake precursor detection

GNSS Radio Occultation (GNSS-RO)

Weather forecasting, turbulence detection, detection and monitoring of volcanic clouds, estimating planetary boundary layer height

Magnetometer Data

Earthquake precursor detection, building magnetosphere models