ICEYE has expanded its constellation with four new synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites on June 12. The launch on SpaceX’s Transporter-8 smallsat rideshare mission via Exolaunch was conducted from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, USA.

Each spacecraft has successfully established communications and are undergoing routine early operations. The next generation ICEYE satellites launched can image the Earth with a ground range resolution of 50 cm and are accompanied by the release of a new data product named Spot Fine. This new imaging mode is the first of a new class of data offerings enabled by ICEYE’s Generation 3 (Gen3) satellite technology.

The deployed satellites will provide additional capacity to ICEYE’s growing constellation and unlock novel SAR collection techniques, including rapid monitoring of small changes on land and at sea thus extending ICEYE’s leadership in SAR remote sensing. Two of the launched satellites are manufactured, licensed, and operated by ICEYE US, the company’s U.S. subsidiary headquartered in Irvine, California. 

“The ICEYE team continues to deliver results for our customers in direct need of reliable, frequent, and high-fidelity data about our world. We are privileged to help solve issues that arise from the lack of actionable information across multiple industries,” says Rafal Modrzewski, CEO and Co-founder of ICEYE. “With this launch and beyond, we continue to grow and develop our constellation capabilities to meet the still-emerging needs of our partners.”

ICEYE’s Gen3 satellite features improvements that will significantly enhance the value of ICEYE’s SAR data for various use cases. The Gen3 includes an advanced radar that enables major improvements in image quality, faster downlink speeds to better support agile imagery collections and better integration with ICEYE’s global network of ground stations. 

Spot Fine mode represents a significant step forward for SAR imagery and analytic users alike. SAR satellites illuminate the ground with microwaves and create images from the energy that is reflected back to the satellite. SAR is superior to traditional electro-optical imaging for monitoring and search applications because it provides a powerful day/night all-weather imaging capability. With Spot Fine mode, ICEYE satellites can now detect smaller features on the ground, which provides analysts with higher confidence in conclusions drawn from SAR imagery. The benefit of Spot Fine applies both to customers consuming ICEYE imagery data and those acquiring ICEYE satellites.