Finland: Finnish New Space leader ICEYE has unveiled its latest capability of 25 cm resolution imaging with synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) small satellites, utilizing the company’s current commercial SAR satellite constellation in-orbit. With this very high-resolution imaging capability, ICEYE SAR data achieves the same resolution class provided by larger, conventional commercial SAR satellites operating at their highest performance.
ICEYE successfully launched its first SAR satellite in January 2018, ICEYE-X1, which achieved 10×10 meter resolution data capabilities, while also becoming the World’s first SAR satellite mission under 100 kilograms (220 pounds) in launch mass. With the company’s latest development of 25 cm imaging from its current commercial SAR satellite constellation of 3 spacecraft, ICEYE data achieves the finest classification of resolution in the commercial SAR market.
“Before, these resolutions have been exclusively reserved for the larger, traditional SAR spacecraft,” said Pekka Laurila, CSO & Co-founder, ICEYE. “This resolution is operationally expected to be available for ICEYE customers already mid-2020 from the current in-orbit constellation.”
Following standard industry definitions, the native slant plane resolution of the newly unveiled SAR data is 25 cm in the azimuth direction, and 50 cm in the range direction, before ground-plane adjustments are applied. The finest resolution data will be provided to customers in ICEYE’s standard product formats that are accessible with standard Geographic Information System (GIS) tools.
“Site activity monitoring based on very high-resolution SAR data enables our customers to unlock new insights in virtually all use cases that utilize ICEYE’s current 1-meter resolution imaging,” said Dr. Mark Matossian, CEO of the US subsidiary of ICEYE. “25 cm resolution SAR imaging is ground-breaking to come from the world’s smallest SAR satellites. Commercial and government SAR customers will be able to achieve very detailed change detection, perform improved object classification, and track ever smaller objects from orbit.”