ICEYE Finland operating a SAR satellite for Earth Observation

ICEYE Finland operating a SAR satellite for Earth Observation


ICEYE is a private start-up space company that designs and builds remote sensing micro-satellites that are equipped with radars, aka Synthetic Aperture radars (SAR). These satellites can provide information from areas where there is no infrastructure and make it possible to observe the Earth even in the dark and through clouds, which is not possible with regular satellite cameras.

The company is aiming for a constellation of 18 SAR micro-satellites in collaboration with ESA, using available off-the-shelf components as much as possible, despite increased risk of hardware failures.

ICEYE claims to be the first commercial SAR company to provide Daily Coherent Ground Track Repeat (GTR) imaging, allowing the user to monitor patterns of life at a ground facility or a port. The GTR technology is a new method of really capturing SAR imagery, that is normally done every for 24 hours globally. The founders of the company are working on a technique to do it in eight hours.

ICEYE is based in Espoo, Finland and was the first commercial satellite company in the country.

The company was founded in 2014 by two engineering students, Rafal Modrzewski (CEO) and Pekka Laurila (CFO), as a spin-off of Aalto University’s University Radio Technology Department. Modrzewski and Laurila were learning about Nano-satellites and decided to commercialize their skills.