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Raumfahrt - ICEYE Eyes DoD, IC With New Daily SAR-Sat Capability

7.07.2021

ICEYE's synthetic aperture radar system can now track changes at bases or at sea on a daily basis, which the company is touting as game-changing.

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Mosul Dam: black squares represent changes 24 hours after initial image. ICEYE image, exclusive to Breaking Defense.

WASHINGTON: ICEYE’s constellation of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites has demonstrated the capability to track changes at ground sites or movement of ships at sea on a daily basis — a “world-first,” according to the company.

“This is a game changer for customers that are looking to detect changes down to a sub-pixel level,” Jerry Welsh, CEO of ICEYE US, the Finnish-founded firm’s US arm, said in an interview today.

SAR satellites can “see” through heavy cloud cover and in the dark, making them a key asset for enabling the IC and the military to track targets on the ground 24/7 — a capability called “persistent monitoring” in the tech community. The ability to not just detect, but actually follow, moving targets or see hour-to-hour changes at adversary ground facilities is something of a Holy Grail for the US military and the Intelligence Community (IC).

ICEYE, which also was the first commercial firm to launch a SAR-sat in January 2018, now has taken a large leap toward that goal.

ICEYE today announced it now can perform “Daily Coherent Ground Track Repeat (GTR) imaging” that enables detection of “everything from large changes, such as monitoring if ships have moved, all the way to such detailed changes on-ground that a person on-site would not be able to recognize.” That data, in turn, allows a user to monitor “patterns of life, site activity, ground subsidence, infrastructure integrity, construction, and more.”

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