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Booz Allen Ventures Invests in Albedo's groundbreaking VLEO satellite technology
This strategic partnership between Booz Allen and Albedo not only highlights the increasing importance of space-based technologies in addressing global challenges but also underscores the growing interest in VLEO as a new frontier in satellite imaging. The collaboration promises to unlock new possibilities for high-resolution, cost-effective space imaging, thereby enhancing capabilities in various sectors, from defense to environmental monitoring.
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Booz Allen Ventures Invests in Albedo's groundbreaking VLEO satellite technology
by Clarence Oxford
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Jan 24, 2024

Booz Allen Hamilton (NYSE: BAH) has announced a strategic investment through its venture capital arm, Booz Allen Ventures, LLC, in Albedo. This investment marks a significant step in the deployment of Very Low Earth Orbit (VLEO) satellite constellations, offering ultra-high resolution commercial imagery from space.

Chris Bogdan, executive vice president at Booz Allen and leader of the firm's Space business, emphasized the importance of this venture: "This is one of the most forward-looking space investments Booz Allen has ever made and comes at a critical juncture when space capabilities are needed to solve our nation's greatest challenges-geopolitical competition, regional instability, catastrophic climate change, and more." He further added that the level of detail achievable by Albedo's low-flying satellites, which combine optical and infrared sensor data, is "unprecedented in the commercial market."

The investment in Albedo is Booz Allen Ventures' first space-specific commitment, resonating with the fund's focus on dual-use commercial technology solutions. Travis Bales, managing director of Booz Allen Ventures, highlighted Albedo's innovative approach, merging high-resolution imaging typical of aerial platforms with the global coverage of satellites. This blend, he notes, opens up vast applications across defense, intelligence, climate, infrastructure, agriculture, energy, and urban planning sectors.

Albedo's venture into VLEO, a largely unexplored domain situated halfway between the Earth's surface and Low Earth Orbit, is pioneering. They are the first to commercialize this orbit, offering high-resolution, aerial-quality imagery at a lower cost, expanding space as a critical data source for defense, national security, and civil applications.

Topher Haddad, CEO of Albedo, elaborated on the potential applications of their technology: "Ultra-high-resolution imagery, coupled with thermal infrared, can be leveraged across a breadth of applications, for everything from urban planning and pipeline monitoring to U.S. and allied military operations." Haddad envisions providing users with the clarity needed to act with certainty in various scenarios, from warzones to environmental monitoring.

This investment round also saw participation from Standard Investments, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Shield Capital, Initialized Capital, Y Combinator, Giant Step Capital, Republic Capital, and others.

Booz Allen's investment in Albedo builds upon its extensive history of delivering space solutions to entities like NASA, the intelligence community, and the Department of Defense. The firm's multifaceted support spans over 50 years and includes projects like the International Space Station, NASA's Artemis mission, and the Cybersecurity and Privacy Enterprise Solutions and Services (CyPrESS) contract, along with contributions to U.S. Space Force space constellations and advanced ground space system capabilities for the intelligence community.

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