American startup Capella Space has begun to provide a commercial service for scanning specified areas of the Earth’s surface with the highest resolution available today – 50 × 50 cm. Scanning is performed by radar, so the images do not lose detail either at night or in the clouds. The company can provide even higher resolution satellite imagery, but this is not yet permitted by US law.
The first satellite “Sequoia” for the company was launched into orbit by the Electron launch vehicle of the private American aerospace company Rocket Lab, which happened at the end of August this year. Note that the launch, the satellite and its operation are implemented according to a very, very humane pricing scheme, which makes space services available to a wider range of companies.
Capella Space’s satellite imagery is based on Aperture Synthesis Radar (SAR). Before Capella Space services, the maximum resolution on the commercial market was “spots” with sides of 100 × 25 cm. Capella Space offers its customers images of the Earth with a resolution of 50 × 50 cm, and if the laws are changed, then with a resolution of 25 × 25 cm. However, this does not prevent the company from selling images with even greater detail to the US military and government.
Obviously, the company’s business is booming. By the end of the year, it is planned to launch two more satellites into orbit, the launch of which is promised by SpaceX. Although Capella Space is young for years, the company was founded by JPL NASA-born Payam Banazadeh, and these are connections in circles that don’t need advertising.
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