Today, March 2, 2020, PredaSAR announced it has secured a $25 million seed round to build and launch a pair of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellites. The company, founded by serial entrepreneur Marc Bell, plans a large SAR constellation providing near-real time imagery of the entire globe.
“There is an ever-increasing demand for low-latency SAR data. PredaSAR’s pending constellation will feature constant image capture to end users, resulting in the most powerful small-satellite SAR system ever delivered, that is well-ahead of other satellite technology,” commented Marc Bell, PredaSAR Chairman and Co-Founder. “Proceeds from the raise will be used to manufacture and launch two SAR satellites through a strategic partnership with Tyvak, the world’s leading innovator and provider of nano- and microsatellites. Tyvak’s broad range of end-to-end satellite knowledge and expertise will boost PredaSAR’s capabilities and empower the Company to establish a strong foundation.”
It should be noted Bell is the founder of Terran Orbital, owner of Tyvak. Funding for the deal was raised from “a diverse network of global institutional investors,” including Miami-based lead investor, Rokk3r Fuel. Bell is based in the Miami area. The Rokk3r Fuel website says the seed round was done in 2019.
“Rokk3r Fuel is very proud to be part of the PredaSAR journey,” said Jeff Ransdell, Founding Partner and Managing Director of Rokk3r Fuel. “The Company’s vision and business model align exactly with our Firm’s intent to support entrepreneurs with groundbreaking ideas propelled by exponential technologies that have the potential to change the world. PredaSAR is an absolute game-changer in its space.”
PredaSAR also named retired Air Force Major General Roger W. Teague as its Chief Executive Officer.
“With more than 30 years of distinguished service to our nation while serving in the Air Force, Maj. Gen. Teague has been tasked with guiding a trusted and experienced executive team, and brings a wealth of national security space expertise and demonstrated excellence to PredaSAR,” said Bell. “From guiding the Space Based Infrared Systems (SBIRS) program to first launch, to helping The Boeing Company secure a number of recent big wins in their space communications portfolio, we are fortunate to have such an experienced individual at the helm of PredaSAR.”
SAR provides imagery of the earth’s surface any time of day regardless of weather, a key advantage over optical imaging satellites dependent on daylight and unable to see through clouds. The technology provides a key edge to governments and commercial customers in watching what happens on the ground, enabling businesses to count vehicles on the ground and fullness of oil storage tankers while the military can use it to track ships and mobile rocket launchers.
PredaSAR jumps into a crowded market of commercial SAR constellation projects. ICEYE has three operational SAR satellites in orbit capable of sub-meter resolution while Capella Space plans to launch up to seven SAR satellites this year capable of providing sub-0.5 meter imagery and able to be tasked in real time using an onboard Inmarsat data link. PredaSAR plans a 44 satellite constellation, according to information on the Rokk3r Fuel website, and will presumably delivery sub-1 meter imagery in 30 minutes or less to users.