NewSpace People Interview with Bluefield

Company Update

What Is the Background of Bluefield’s Top Management?

Founder & CEO Yotam Ariel is an experienced energy & environment entrepreneur, with international clients including +$3b energy investment firms.

CTO Richard L. Lachance, Ph.D. in optics, former ABB remote sensing expert, inventor of 8 patents, and serving clients including NASA, NOAA, JAXA's GOSAT.

Advisors include Charles Miller, a pioneer in NewSpace, co-founder of NanoRacks, and recently added by Trump's transition office to enhance NASA's commercial space activities.

What Is Bluefield's Core Product or Service?

Data platform providing insights derived from methane emissions monitoring. Bluefield uses proprietary remote sensors on a constellation of micro-satellites (roughly 12kg). It has global coverage, frequent measurement revisit times: 20x20 meter pixel resolution and 100ppm-m methane emissions level (detecting natural gas storage and pipeline leaks, fracking, heavy industries, mining, tailing ponds, permafrost, wastewater, rice paddies, livestock, etc.)

What Is Bluefield's Unique Proposition to Their Market Sector?

Alerting oil & gas companies on natural gas leaks in their operations

Enabling governments to enforce greenhouse gases regulations

Providing hedge funds with exclusive leading economic indicators movements

Monitoring forests conservation for monetization of carbon reduction projects

Intelligence -- detecting illegal/destabilizing sensitive activities

How Does Bluefield Disrupt the Competitive Environment of Its Market with Its Product/Service?

Bluefield's 12kg, backpack size microsats are 1% of what government satellite cost, and are a 100 times performance improvement of the level and amount of valuable data. Bluefield's new and improved methane sensors versions are put in orbit every 2 years -- small, fast and agile.

Space based sensors for monitoring greenhouse gases is gaining momentum. Governments are putting state of the art tech costing hundreds of millions of dollars (China's TanSat; Germany's EnMAP; others). However, due to cost and process, governments can't have constellations of dozens of satellites and overcome cloud interference in their remote sensing. They can't be fast and agile in terms of tech improvements either.

In terms of competing with aircraft/helicopter/drone/vehicle based sensors, global coverage and frequent measurements revisit time are key. Bluefield's data is complimentary to non-satellite based sensors.

As oppose to non-satellite based sensors which mean the data belongs to the client, Bluefield collects data regularly, worldwide, and is able to see what's happening in China, India, etc. interesting emitters, and then process and sell the data to various client segments.

What Are Bluefield's Growth Objectives over the next 5 Years?

Phase One -- 2 microsats in orbit in 2018 -- meaning global coverage, monthly measurements -- commercially valuable data for clients.

Phase Two -- 22 microsats in orbit in 2020 - meaning global coverage, daily measurements -- increased data value and client segments.

What competitive changes does Bluefield envisage within key markets over the next 5 years?

Oil & gas firms under pressure to cut costs/losses given persistent low oil and gas prices.

Increasing regulations targeting methane, given its impact on global greenhouse gas emissions.

Hedge funds bidding for exclusive new data sets as leading economic indicators.

All are large trends + likely to be sustained for years to come = market will only grow.

Although building/launching satellites is getting easier, actually having a remote sensor that detects gases to a level of commercially valuable data will remain high entry barrier.


Professionals Mentioned: 



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