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ICEYE and Audacy join forces

The ICEYE-X2 was launched in December of 2018 and is ICEYE’s second microsatellite in orbit.ICEYE

Helsinki-based Earth observation company ICEYE has signed a memorandum of understanding with American space communications service provider Audacy to explore continuous satellite communications.

The duo will set out to explore how Audacy’s planned in-orbit communications network could be best utilised with ICEYE’s microsatellite constellation. The Iceye-X2 currently goes online 25 times a day, whenever it passes over a ground station, with each fly-over enabling the transfer of data and other essential functions.

This translates to ICEYE’s SAR-imaging service promise of an average revisit time of three hours. With Audacy’s inter-satellite data relay network, the imaging data could be provided almost continuously.

“Audacy’s communications network complements the approach we’ve used so far and helps us bring additional value to the market,” commented Rafal Modrzewski, CEO and co-founder of ICEYE, in a release.

“We’re eager to provide our customers with radar satellite imaging at unprecedented timelines – in the future measured in just minutes.”

Enabling an almost real-time flow of SAR-imagery will provide new use-cases for ICEYE’s data. Image: Audacy

Audacy is planning for its commercial inter-satellite data relay network to go live in 2021 and, in the meantime, will provide its customers communications services through a ground network.

ICEYE has recently strengthened its team and is aiming to launch five additional microsatellites into orbit during 2019. The company has also been busy co-operating with other companies to develop and complement its service offering.

By: Samuli Ojala