Bringing Commercial SAR to the U.S.

Capella Space aims to launch 36 satellites by 2023


Earth’s surface is 196.9 million square miles and is always changing, sometimes dramatically and without warning. The synthetic aperture radar (SAR) small satellites being developed by Capella Space (Booth 963) will be able to detect those changes.

“That is because [we will have] 36 satellites flying in 12 orbits with three satellites each,” said Dan Brophy, the company’s VP of government services. “We’ll be able to see change occurring. [Such change] can affect transportation, agriculture, energy, and our national defense.”

Capella’s SAR systems will be able to see through clouds and in all lighting conditions—even at night. The persistence will allow the company to look anywhere on Earth within a revisit rate of one hour or less.

“That’s important because it allows you to see change on a more regular basis, which is helpful for both business and national security users,” Brophy said.

At GEOINT 2019, Capella Space will discuss its pending capabilities and current launch timeline. The company launched its first satellite, dubbed Denali, in December, and plans to launch its second, Sequoia, by the end of this year. Then, it plans to launch six satellites approximately every six months until it reaches its goal of a 36-satellite constellation in late 2022 or early 2023, Brophy said.

Capella provides frequent and timely SAR data for monitoring change on Earth. With flexible imaging modes and low latency ordering from tasking to downlink to delivery, Capella’s goal is to offer a new experience for high-resolution Earth observation across many different markets.

Headline Image: San Francisco-based Capella Space aims to launch 36 commercial SAR small sats by 2023. 

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