’Rapid access to high-resolution hazard insights will become ever more critical,’ says senior vice president

Persistent monitoring firm ICEYE has launched four new synthetic aperture radar (Sar) satellites following increased demand for hazard data across both the (re)insurance and emergency response sectors.

In a statement released today (13 November 2023), ICEYE said growing its constellation of such equipment would help it expand its Earth observation capabilities and increase collection opportunities.

Sar satellites illuminate the ground with microwaves and create images from the energy that is reflected back to the satellite.

And with such technology, ICEYE can provide customers with quick access to data in emergencies.

Stephen Lathrope, senior vice president of solutions at ICEYE, said expanding its Sar satellites meant the firm was able to target disaster events anywhere in the world “more rapidly to deliver reliable, consistent and accurate information in near real-time”.

In turn, he felt the business would be able to play a more “prominent role” in empowering the (re)insurance sector and emergency response agencies to respond more ”robustly to an escalating risk environment”.

“This is proving to be transformational for our clients,” he added.

“We are seeing a significant uptick in demand for hazard data across both the (re)insurance and emergency response sectors.

“The continued increase in the frequency and severity of natural catastrophes means that rapid access to high-resolution hazard insights will become ever more critical.”

The launch

The four Sar satellites were launched on SpaceX’s Transporter-9 smallsat rideshare mission via Exolaunch.

Each spacecraft has successfully established communications and is undergoing routine early operations.

The launch means ICEYE has now deployed 31 satellites since 2018.

And the firm said its most recent expansion built on two earlier advancements in imaging capabilities, including Spot Fine mode, which delivers 50 cm native ground resolution.

The other, called Dwell mode, uses advanced collection techniques to rapidly determine changes happening on the ground in near real-time.

John Cartwright, head of data product at ICEYE, said: “ICEYE customers around the globe have seemingly unending demand for our persistent, high-resolution satellite imaging capacity.

”Our customers use ICEYE imagery for actionable information and high-confidence decision-making. This is our third satellite launch during 2023, which shows our commitment to building and operating the largest Sar satellite constellation to date.”