Satellite Pics for Cheap!!

Issue 05-15-17   |   Reviewer:   Angelina I. T. Kiser, Ph.D.


Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) technology can send radar beams from space that bounce off Earth and then return to a sensor, which assembles the information to produce an immaculate image. Palo Alto company Capella Space has found a way to create a much smaller and less expensive version of SAR satellites, which could become available to businesses and not just governments.

Capella plans to launch its first satellite later this year, followed by several more in 2018. The company will be competing with similar companies such as San Francisco's Planet Labs Inc., which dominates the market and is used by governments, farmers, and hedge funds. However, Capella can provide nighttime and cloudy pictures that Planet cannot yet provide.

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