Artificial Intelligence: Israeli Startups ASTERRA, Albo Climate Use Satellites And AI To Hunt For Lithium And Carbon

ASTERRA uses AI and PolSAR satellite data to hunt for lithium deposits. Albo Climate combines AI with satellite data for measuring carbon absorption on land.

Satellite sensors are delivering valuable data to Israeli startups for analysis with AI to obtain insights on the extent of absorption of carbon on land, as well as locate valuable deposits of lithium that would otherwise be difficult to find and damaging to the environment.

Albo Climate

Israeli startup Albo Climate creates detailed maps of where carbon is being absorbed and stored. It does this by training an AI on data from satellite-mounted sensors and manually collected carbon data (example tree trunk diameters) or soil samples from laboratories. The AI is then able to recognize patterns and can therefore create carbon maps for a new area when provided satellite sensor data.

The satellite sensors can scan vegetation both above ground and up to 30 centimeters (one foot) below, where the soil and roots are.

Albo is now developing a tool to measure ocean-based sequestration and is discussing with an Israeli university the potential launch of several satellites for climate research and data harvesting.


Israeli startup ASTERRA has applied for a patent for its technology that identifies lithium deposits from radar data of satellites. The technology is based on research intended for locating water on Mars as well as the measurement of underground soil moisture.

The huge advantage of ASTERRA’s AI is that it locates lithium without the advance investment of money and labour in physical exploration in remote areas, which may be accompanied by civil conflict and damage to the environment.

The company’s AI algorithms extract the signal of lithium concentration underground from satellite based PolSAR data and can pinpoint locations containing high lithium.

“Lithium is the wonder metal at the heart of the global desire to move to cleaner energy with reduced carbon emissions, but the demand exceeds the supply. This causes an almost 500 percent increase in lithium prices and harms the effort to stop global warming,” said Lauren Guy, the founder and chief technology officer of ASTERRA. “Global demand for lithium is insatiable, and the supply crisis is present and significant. ASTERRA can now focus the efforts of companies to mine the metal in a much more efficient and accurate way.”

Asterra provides intelligence regardless of weather conditions, time of day, and penetrates the ground and obstructions including pavement, trees, and soil. It is, therefore, an efficient solution for underground monitoring.

Related Story: Satellites and AI Could Together Predict Wildfires Accurately

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