SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 3, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Capella Space, an aerospace and information services company providing Earth observation data on demand, today announced the launch of its first small synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite. The satellite, named "Denali" after the tallest mountain in the U.S., will allow Capella to fine-tune their technology and operations as they progress toward reliably delivering hourly information and imagery in any condition anywhere on Earth. This launch marks a pivotal moment for American innovation, as Capella is the first and only U.S. company to develop and launch a radar satellite for commercial markets.
"Today's launch represented many firsts for American aerospace," said Curt Blake, president of Spaceflight, the leading rideshare provider. "Spaceflight's SSO-A mission launched the largest number of satellites from a U.S.-based vehicle, an important milestone for rideshare and the smallsat industry. Among the payloads onboard was Capella's spacecraft, the first commercial SAR satellite from a U.S. company. Capella is an innovative leader in the smallsat industry and we're honored to have played a role in helping them access space."
Spaceflight launched Denali on its SSO-A: Smallsat Express dedicated rideshare mission on December 3rd which was launched via a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket out of Vandenberg Air Force base in California. For Capella, this pathfinder mission will focus on deployment, testing, calibration and optimization of pioneering radar technology capable of detecting millimeter-scale changes on the surface of the Earth. Capella will control and monitor Denali from their command center in San Francisco, where the team will lead a series of tests and evaluations for performance, imaging and acquisition, and downlink capability.
"We view access to reliable and accurate satellite data, updated hourly, as critical," said Antoine Rostand, CEO of Kayrros, the leading data analytics company bringing greater transparency to the global energy markets, and a key Capella customer. "Capella has impressed us not just with the breadth of their vision, but also with their strategic plan to rapidly deploy new space-based capabilities that simply do not exist anywhere else. We view Capella as an essential partner in turning data into the superior insights that give Kayrros customers a real market edge."
In just a few years, Capella's 36-satellite constellation will deliver data anywhere on Earth in far less time and at a fraction of the cost of current satellites, representing a seismic shift in the reliability and accessibility of planetary insights. Denali unfolds an origami-like antenna from a backpack-sized payload to nearly 100 square feet, with embedded advanced electronics to beam and capture changing conditions on the Earth's surface. The small satellite will transmit data at a quality that rivals that from school-bus-sized predecessors, representing a transformation on the scale of moving from room-sized mainframe computers to today's smartphone. Resultant Earth observation data will serve markets ranging from commodity trading and agriculture and food security to defense and global infrastructure integrity monitoring.
"We believe continuous coverage of the constant change taking place across our planet will improve quality of life and understanding worldwide," said Payam Banazadeh, CEO and founder of Capella Space. "Capella is deploying proven technologies in entirely new ways and we're committed to making vital information from space more accessible than ever before. Today's launch is an important step in advancing the use of Earth observation data as an essential tool for commerce, conservation and well-being in the 21st century."
About Capella Space Capella Space is an aerospace and information services company that provides earth observation information on demand. The company's synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite is one-third the size of any other small radar satellite, enabling the company to put satellites into orbit faster, cheaper and in the ideal spatial location to deliver comprehensive global coverage. Using SAR technology, Capella's satellites can see through clouds and at night for complete global visibility, enabling vital decisions across dozens of industries from defense to infrastructure to save money, time and lives. Learn more at capellaspace.com.