The Finnish company ICEYE, creating a constellation of satellites to conduct radar imagery of the Earth’s surface, has announced that it has been able to achieve resolution photos with precision detail at least 1 meter. According to the ICEYE co-founder and Director of the development strategy of Laurila Pekka (Pekka Laurila), since its establishment in 2015 ICEYE attracted about $ 65 million investment, has expanded to 120 employees and recently launched three satellites the size of a small refrigerator in low earth orbit.
During the first three years ICEYE focused on the development of technology, and the first full-scale launch of the company occurred only in January 2018 with an Indian carrier rocket. Since ICEYE has launched two more satellites and plans to add two more by the end of this year. “We begin to fulfill commercial orders, and our service is growing rapidly“, said fu in an interview with Ars Technica.
Unlike optical devices used by most existing satellites capture images of the Earth’s surface, ICEYE uses radar synthetic aperture. Satellites ICEYE use the movement of the radar antenna during the time that the device moves over the target, to create multidimensional images of the surface, ignoring the weather conditions and time of day. By moving its little antenna at a great distance in relation to the subject, the satellite gets the image in a higher resolution, comparable with more powerful and heavy radio equipment.
Of lauryl told through one of the satellites of the company at the beginning of 2019, the company was able to monitor the destruction of the dam Brumadinho in Southeast Brazil, killing 248 people. Despite the often cloudy sky over Brazil, the satellite ICEYE could easily track the path of mud flows caused by dam break.
For the new demonstration photos, the company conducted monitoring of marine terminals for the loading of oil to show off their new opportunities for shooting in high resolution. Targeting at seaports in Nigeria, Australia and other countries, the company was able to receive and process image with a resolution of up to 0.55 m, which allowed the details to see the tanks, the loading of raw materials in tankers and ports all facing in court.
The company originally planned to focus on monitoring of the Arctic for navigation and scientific purposes, hence the name ICEYE (eng. “ice” – ice, “eye” – eyes), but ever since she discovered the demand for their services in a variety of applications-from oil and gas industry to inform people about emergency situations such as the collapse of the dam Brumadinho. According to Laurila, more interesting problems, the company will be able to perform when in the early 2020 ICEYE will launch the last two of the planned five satellites, gathering the full required group.