A new breeze to lift airship manufacturing
The unmanned airships developed by Kelluu Ltd. are completing 12-hour missions. With the newly appointed CEO, Kelluu is recruiting new people and seeking growth by building a fleet
Kelluu Ltd., a privately-owned Finnish startup looking to revolutionize aerial monitoring, has reached a significant milestone. The company’s unmanned hydrogen-powered airships have flown continuously up to 12 hours gathering aerial data. With the long flight time and emission-free operations the airships could replace helicopters and land-based surveyors in monitoring of power lines. Kelluu’s new CEO, Janne Hietala, will be navigating the company to new heights.
“Kelluu has a great potential to grow into a global company while making a genuine impact on society. For example, the condition of power lines, or the forests damaged by the European spruce bark beetle can be surveyed with our airships more accurately and significantly faster than with any other method. Our next goal is to build a fleet instead of individual airships, and to expand our operational area”, says Janne Hietala, the newly appointed CEO of Kelluu.
Hietala has 18 years of experience working as an entrepreneur and building international growth in technology companies such as Valamis Group. Other key members of the Kelluu team are Jouni Lintu who will focus on research and development, and Jiri Jormakka who continues as the COO.
12-hour autonomous flights already completed
“During the summer, we carried out extended 9-12 hour-long autonomous flights for our customers. Many locals have already spotted our airships and wondered about them on social media”, says Jiri Jormakka, who manages the flight operations.
It is possible to mount several sensors, scanners and cameras on the Kelluu airships in order to gather data on terrain, vegetation, or infrastructure.
“The Kelluu business is based on the unique capabilities of our airships, the autonomous flying, long flight time and zero emissions. The airships are powered by hydrogen, so they don’t release carbon-dioxide into the atmosphere. With the next generation of the airships, we are aiming for even longer flight times”, says Jouni Lintu, breaking down the benefits of Kelluu's airships and the next steps in their development.
Recruiting airship engineers and programmers
In just a few years, the Kelluu team has grown to include nine people. The team, consisting of experts in the field of aviation and information technology, is expected to grow further this year. Currently, they are looking for an airship electrical engineer and a developer of embedded systems. Finnish language skills are not required, as English is an operational language at the company.
Huge business opportunities for infrastructure monitoring across the world
Globally, the annual cost of monitoring critical infrastructure, such as electricity networks, is approximately 60 billion euros. Until now, the monitoring has been done mainly by using helicopters, battery-powered drones or land-based survey groups.
“Kelluu’s airships and survey services will revolutionize the aerial survey services market. No other company in the world can monitor infrastructure networks with the same efficiency, while releasing zero emissions. Currently, we are flying in Eastern Finland, but we are aiming to rapidly expand our service area to the whole country, and then to Northern Europe”, says Janne Hietala when asked about the company’s growth plan.
“We have just secured the growth funding of two million euros. The existing investors and Business Finland trust the company’s ability to reach new heights. With the funding, we can build a larger fleet, hire more personnel and develop our airships even further.
INFO: Kelluu Ltd. develops and manufactures unmanned airships at their facilities in Joensuu, Finland. Thanks to the extremely long flight time and hydrogen technology, Kelluu’s airships can collect data over long distances efficiently and with zero emissions. So far, Kelluu’s airships and aerial survey services have been used to monitor the condition of power lines and to survey forest damages.
Photos and media materials:
Pictured alone: Janne Hietala, CEO of Kelluu Ltd.
Pictured as a group (left to right): Hermanni Kärki, Jouni Lintu, Valtteri Herrala, Janne Hietala, Jiri Jormakka, JP Henderson, Benedek Pragai.
For additional information, please contact:
Janne Hietala - CEO
+358 40 831 4245
Jouni Lintu - Lead Scientist
+358 40 777 0412
Jiri Jormakka - COO
+358 50 372 6578