AZO Startup Spreads its Wings at the European Space Solutions

ESA BIC Nordwijk incubatee and Space App Camp participant Wendy Mensink, Co-founder of Viridian Raven, explained the development of her business case and gave insight into her experiences as part of the ESA BIC programme. Her inspiring presentation was part of the AZO side session at the European Space Solutions in The Hague. She outlined her application for risk assessment, which incorporates Sentinel- and Landsat-satellite data, together with several other data sources, to identify high-risk zones for bark beetle outbreaks.

Forest managers worldwide are influenced by insect outbreaks destroying their forests. One type of these insects, bark beetles, can destroy entire forests within just a few weeks. Viridian Raven offers a solution to help combat these bark beetles. With the use of data from the Sentinel-satellites, Viridian Raven provides an early warning system for forest managers. This makes it possible to take prevention measures that can save trees. Viridian Raven was created during the ESA App Camp in 2015. After winning the pre-selections in the Netherlands, and becoming second in the finals, Viridian Raven has been incubated in the ESA Business Incubation Centre in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. With the support received from ESA BIC, the startup has grown quickly and is working on saving trees worldwide.

Viridian Raven
With the use of satellite data, Viridian Raven creates maps for foresters. Their maps show different vegetation characteristics which help in forest management. Currently these maps are updated approximately every 10 days, but within the next few years this will speed up to every 2-5 days. It is the company's aim to calculate risk-zones of bark beetle outbreaks and provide this information as immediate feedback to the forester. In doing so, early intervention becomes possible that displays as a key factor in preventing large scale bark beetle outbreaks.

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