Aerospace & Defence

ICEYE expands high-resolution SAR data products

12th March 2024
Harry Fowle

ICEYE has introduced its Dwell Fine imaging mode, which adds to the unique capabilities of Dwell mode and builds on the release of Spot Fine, launched in June 2023.

With a 50-centimeter resolution, Dwell Fine enables a deeper understanding of changes on the Earth's surface, identification of specific models of aircraft on the ground and ships at sea, and exploration of human-made structures, such as vehicles and buildings, against natural backgrounds, such as tree canopy and vegetation.

ICEYE’s Dwell Fine is unique in commercial SAR satellite imagery. As a satellite orbits the Earth in Dwell Fine mode its radar signals focus on a defined area of the planet’s surface to create an image for 25 seconds – in contrast to the usual 10 seconds for a standard Spot image. Thanks to the longer duration imaging mode, Dwell Fine users can determine the shape of an aircraft's fuselage, wings, stabilisers, and engines; recognise narrow objects like power lines and antennas; or evaluate the extent and nature of damage to civil infrastructure. Short videos, composed of multiple images taken during collection and delivered as part of the Dwell Fine services, can detect vessels' movement, direction, and speed.

With its many practical applications, Dwell Fine can detect and emphasise the differences between human-made and natural features. And because images in Dwell mode are taken from a much more comprehensive range of angles, it can perceive objects through gaps in the trees and foliage.

Owner and operator of the world’s largest constellation of SAR satellites, ICEYE first introduced its Dwell mode in May 2023. With the introduction of Dwell Fine less than a year later, ICEYE underlines its commitment to constant innovation in serving private and public sector organisations globally with the most advanced commercial Earth Observation capabilities and SAR satellite imagery.

John Cartwright, ICEYE’s SVP and Head of Data Product, said: “Dwell is a first-in-the-world capability that just evolved into an even better one with the introduction of Dwell Fine. Sharpening the resolution down from one meter to 50 centimetres produces SAR satellite images with incredible clarity. This – combined with the ability of ICEYE satellites to observe any location on Earth every few hours, day or night, and in any weather – enables a level of change detection that's never been possible before.”

ICEYE’s radar antennae are one-of-a-kind in the SAR satellite sector, controlled by software to direct the radar beams to areas of interest as needed. This technology confers unique capabilities in the sector and provides greater versatility in imaging modes – ranging from the fine granularity of Dwell Fine to views covering tens of thousands of square kilometres.

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