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Finland’s Iceye Partners With Audacy For Real-Time Satellite Communications

SAR imagery of Spanish Natural Parks taken by the newly launched ICEYE-X2 SAR Earth observation satellite. Image courtesy of ICEYE.

Audacy, a space communications service provider delivering real-time spacecraft connectivity, and ICEYE, an Earth observation company creating the world’s largest Synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) satellite constellation, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together to explore enabling continuous satellite communications for ICEYE’s SAR satellite constellation via Audacy’s inter-satellite data relay network. This will give ICEYE the ability to task its satellites to image a location only minutes before it passes a location of interest, anywhere on Earth, at all times.

This unique capability is unlike current industry standards, where satellite imaging companies need to wait for their satellites to pass over a ground station in order to send commands or receive data. This “store-and-forward” limitation creates unnecessary delays in tasking and severely hampers the ability to respond to urgent imaging needs.

“We are building the new communications backbone for the emerging space economy and Audacy’s network is well-placed to serve a wide variety of customers, including the growing geospatial intelligence community,” said Dr. Ralph Ewig, CEO of Audacy. “Real-time connectivity will expand the capabilities of Earth observation services across the globe and will rapidly seed product development for our earliest customers.”

Audacy is developing the world’s first commercial inter-satellite data relay network with a planned rollout in 2021. Its network of medium Earth orbit relay satellites and ground facilities aims to deliver real-time connectivity to both commercial and government users, anywhere from launchpad to lunar distance.

“ICEYE is launching radar imaging satellites to provide governments and commercial industries with timely and reliable imaging. Audacy’s communications network complements the approach we’ve used so far, and helps us bring additional value to the market,” said Rafal Modrzewski, CEO and co-founder of ICEYE. “We’re eager to provide our customers with radar satellite imaging at unprecedented timelines — in the future measured in just minutes.”

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