ICEYE, Finnish New Space’s small satellite synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) technology is providing its SAR satellite data for assessment via ESA’s Earthnet Third Party Mission (TPM). Through this program, ESA sponsors the cost to access ICEYE’s SAR data for research and Earth Observation (EO) based application development.
“We are very proud to begin distributing SAR data to the international user community through ESA’s Earthnet Third Party Mission.”, said Rafal Modrzewski, CEO and co-founder of ICEYE. “ICEYE has always aimed for providing wide and easy access to its SAR data, and this is an excellent step forward in that. ESA’s Earthnet programme and the TPM framework is a phenomenal tool for data users that shows the value of European collaboration.”
The Earthnet Third Party Mission is an ESA framework that enables the collection and distribution of data from non-ESA satellite missions free-of-charge for international Principal Investigators. ESA allows the data to be used for research and applications development including preparation of future operational use. Furthermore, ESA utilizes third-party satellite data to supplement its own internal projects.
According to Giuseppe Ottavianelli, ESA TPM Mission Manager, “ESA will facilitate the ICEYE data assessment through a dedicated Announcement of Opportunity process which is open to all international Principal Investigators. In the future, ESA also plans to implement specific studies on various application topics. With the upcoming launch, the importance of ICEYE imagery in the EO Research and Development community will certainly grow by enabling new operational EO based services.”
Roberto Biasutti, ESA TPM Operational Manager, points out, “ICEYE’s constantly growing SAR satellite constellation represents a milestone in the radar Earth observation industry. It is of great importance for our Principal Investigators to explore the potential of ICEYE data. ESA is delighted to support this process.”
In the framework of the TPM programme, ESA and its members aim to establish dialogues with the various mission providers and to promote global cooperation between space agencies and companies to make resources and knowledge widely available to the EO community. The TPM activity has been in effect for more than 40 years and is funded under ESA’s Earthnet programme.
The Announcement of Opportunity (AO) process requires the submission of a project proposal. All information is available on ESA’s AO webpage for ICEYE data.