ICEYE composite image of Gothenburg, Sweden (Source: ICEYE)

ICEYE commissions new radar satellites

Finland-based ICEYE announced today, September12, that its two synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) satellites launched in July 201 are now in commercial service. The company now provides standardized commercial imaging tasking to three of its SAR satellites in addition to serving customers with custom data products and solutions.

“The ICEYE SAR satellite constellation is soon becoming the largest of its kind in the world,” said Rafal Modrzewski, CEO and Co-founder of ICEYE. “In addition to serving customers with an increasing amount of capacity and access, we continue to develop and deploy new capabilities for our current SAR satellites already in orbit.”

ICEYE plans to launch two more SAR satellites by the end of the year to further expand commercial availability and coverage of the world; at one point the company had planned to have 9 satellites in orbit by the end of 2019. The company also recently announced the ability to capture imagery at resolution under one meter with its Spotlight mode, a technical feat that other new small satellite SAR players have targeted to match or beat. ICEYE had initially announced its constellation would

As part of today’s announcement, ICEYE is publishing images taking with the two new satellites taken only minutes apart to demonstrate its development of change detection capabilities with its collected information. A composite image released by the company illustrates ship movement in the vicinity of the port of Gothenburg, Sweden.

ICEYE’s goal is to have an operational constellation of 18 satellites, offering revisit times of areas to be under a few hours or less. SAR imagery is in demand because it can see through clouds and darkness. With the appropriate resolution, SAR can reveal such things as if oil storage tanks are full or empty and map out ice flows in the Arctic for shipping.

Doug Mohney

Doug Mohney, a principal at Cidera Analytics, has been working and writing about IT and satellite industries for over 20 years. His real world experience including stints at two start-ups, a commercial internet service provider that went public in 1997 for $150 million and a satellite internet broadband company. Follow him on Twitter at DougonTech or contact him at dmohney139 (at) gmail (dot) com.

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