ICEYE-X2 has been placed in the orbit by the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle that was launched on 3rd December 2018 at the Vanderberg AFB.
Soon after the launch, the ICEYE engineers have managed to establish a line of communications with the satellite. Following a check-up procedure concerning the platform’s components, the satellite was ready to deliver the first images back to Earth.
The first shot that has been publicized by ICEYE on 11th December was taken on 7th December this year. The satellite took the said image at night. However, in case of the imagery captured by a Synthetic Aperture Radar, weather or daytime are not a factor. The SAR sensor does its job regardless of the above.
Our team launched the first Polish-Finnish satellite ICEYE-X2 just last week, and the first image from this satellite was acquired within only a few days. I am extremely proud for everyone who was involved in achieving this incredible milestone. ICEYE-X2 is a great success for Poland, which is becoming very established in the global New Space economy in record speed. There are great things ahead!
The photograph depicts a mountainous area between the Aralar and Aizkorri-Aratz Natural Parks in Spain. The frame shows a square area (500 sq. km) with dimensions of 20×25 kilometres. The original file with this photo sent back to earth had a size of 2.4 GB. The spatial resolution for this shot has been defined as 3×3 metres, meaning that a single pixel corresponds with a 9 sq. m area.
By the end of 2019 ICEYE wants to place up to 8 more SAR EO satellites in the orbit.
ICEYE-X2 brings data that both governments and companies can use in improved decision making. We are excited to work towards goals that match with the Polish government's initiatives in space-based data, as sections of our manufacturing and operations are already located in Warsaw. Business applications for ICEYE's satellite data and information services include the insurance, maritime and agricultural industries, as examples.
ICEYE is soon going to create a large EO constellation that would offer a global coverage. As the constellation is to grow, revisit time will be becoming shorter.