New York oil industry analyst signs deals for SAR data from ICEYE, COSMO-SkyMed

26 April 2018

Oil industry analyst Ursa Space Systems has signed up for a tranche of synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) imagery, sealing deals to receive data from the ICEYE and COSMO-SkyMed constellations for purposes including the monitoring of wells and storage facilities.

Helsinki-based ICEYE – which orbited Finland’s first commercial satellite in January – and e-GEOS, the Telespazio-Italian Space Agency joint venture that markets COSMO-SkyMed data, announced tie-ups with Ursa at the GEOINT Symposium in Tampa, Florida.

Ursa, of Ithaca, New York will be supplied with “thousands” of COSMO-SkyMed images in a deal that follows one signed a year ago. Ursa chief executive Adam Maher referred to four-satellite COSMO-SkyMed as “part of our virtual constellation of SAR satellites”.

ICEYE bills its 70kg ICEYE-X1 as the world’s first sub-100kg SAR satellite; it was orbited in January by a PSLV flight from India. Two sister units – X2 and X3 – are expected to launch this year and ICEYE plans ultimately to have a constellation of more than 18 of its SAR microsatellites.

ICEYE is also selling SAR images to Aker Arctic Technology, a Helsinki naval architect looking to better understand rapidly changing Arctic region sea ice conditions, and Kongsberg Satellite Services of Norway, which operates Arctic and Antarctic ground stations.

At 500km, X1 orbits 15 times daily; depending on location to be imaged, revisit can be as frequent as 12 hours. The first three satellites provide 10x10m resolution. The larger constellation will eventually provide average revisit frequency of just 3 hours for almost any location, according to ICEYE.

ICEYE ceo Rafal Modrzewski and Ursa ceo Adam Maher at GEOINT Symposium 2018 (ICEYE)
Massimo Claudio Comparini, e-GEOS chief executive and head of Telespazio’s geoinformation business (left) with Ursa’s Adam Maher