The company, which specialises in the persistent monitoring of the Earth with radar satellite imaging, has agreed to become a “Contributing Mission” to the programme. What this means is that Copernicus services will now receive access to ICEYE’s synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) imagery.
The goal of Copernicus is to serve Land, Emergency, Security and Marine services generally, while other users such as public authorities in Europe can also benefit from the data. It will be used for applications such as border control, security and maritime domain awareness.
The partnership with ICEYE will be funded by the European Commission and operated by ESA.
“This is really exciting as it will help to complement the existing commercial Copernicus Contributing Mission data offer with further innovative SAR data from the ICEYE satellite constellation,” said Toni Tolker-Nielsen, the acting Director of Earth Observation Programmes at the ESA.
Pictured left to right, above, are: Rafal Modrzewski ICEYE CEO, Josef Aschbacher, ESA Director General, and Toni Tolker-Nielsen, Acting ESA Director for Earth Observation. Copyright:
“ICEYE’s mission is to help our customers make informed, data-driven decisions to address time-critical challenges,” said Modrzewski. “This programme is a phenomenal tool for data users and shows European collaboration at its best. Copernicus services, research projects funded by the European Commission and public authority organizations in Europe will now be able to access some of our imagery through the Copernicus Contributing Mission programme.”
Eye in the sky
ICEYE describes its technology as follows:
“Unlike a traditional Earth imaging satellite, ICEYE’s constellation of SAR satellites bounce a powerful radar beam off the surface of the earth from approximately 550 kilometers in space, thereby painting a picture of what is happening on the ground below. The technology can see through clouds, smoke and even image the ground at night. This provides customers with persistent coverage of fast breaking events on the ground in all weather conditions.”
In May 2021, it announced wide area imaging capabilities covering 10,000 km² data acquisitions via its SAR constellation.
It claimed to be the first SAR satellite provider to achieve wide-area Scan mode imaging, with the persistent monitoring capabilities now commercially available.
Image: ICEYE – Valentina Stefanelli
See also: ESA’s Copernicus Earth observation programme overlooks UK Space