Finland: ICEYE, a Finnish New Space satellite manufacturer active in synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) technology, has announced a cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA) to mutually explore opportunities provided by ICEYE’s technology. By using ICEYE’s SAR satellite technology and imagery, this new agreement demonstrates ESA’s interest in taking advantage of recent innovative New Space developments to foster business.
The cooperation encompasses activities that focus the design of the ICEYE microsatellite and its X-band SAR instrument, as well as identifying the most promising applications for the data collected by such a microsatellite constellation.
“The collaboration with ICEYE in this endeavor is helping us move distinct steps closer to our goals as we explore the potential in the New Space industry,” said ESA’s Director of Earth Observation, Josef Aschbacher.
By empowering ESA with ICEYE data, the constellation is helping to shape the future of observing our planet from space. Data collected by ICEYE benefits both researchers and a wide range of commercial industries. Challenging issues such as natural disaster response and climate change research, oil spill and illegal fishing detection all require repeated and timely imaging, regardless of the weather conditions or time of day. This shared effort to gain vast SAR imaging capabilities from new technological developments impacts the whole Earth observation industry and its end users.
“ICEYE’s successful first SAR mission, ICEYE-X1, and the forward-looking response to New Space from ESA have given rise to an extraordinary opportunity to push forward together,” said Rafal Modrzewski, CEO and co-founder of ICEYE.
ICEYE recently announced collaborations with two other European entities, Kongsberg Satellite Service (KSAT) and Aker Arctic, to collect and provide SAR data for maritime and ice monitoring. ICEYE remains on track to launch its next two SAR-enabled satellites, ICEYE-X2 and ICEYE-X3, later this year.