SAR imagery with 15-centimeter resolution (UmBRA Startup)
Yes, with resolution of 15-centimetre resolution quite high resolution one can only wish for. Radar satellite startup Umbra plans to capture imagery with a resolution as high as 15 centimeters per pixel thanks to a Federal Communications Commission license.
The FCC granted Umbra, a Santa Barbara, California, startup preparing to launch its first X-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) microsatellite this year, an experimental license in February to operate high-bandwidth SAR using the 1,200 MHz band centered on 9.8 GHz and low-bandwidth SAR with the 600 MHz band centered on 9.6 GHz.
Gabe Dominocielo, Umbra co-founder and president, referred to the FCC license as “hitting the regulatory jackpot.”
“Bandwidth is the limiting factor in determining slant range resolution, and ultimately ground plane resolution in the cross-track direction,” Dominocielo said by email. “Improvement in resolution is proportional to the amount of bandwidth available for use by the sensor.”
Umbra seeks to gather high resolution SAR data to feed artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms.
“AI and machine learning algorithms are only as good as the data they are given,” Dominocielo said. “High resolution SAR images intrinsically are more valuable. Superior data will enable analytics firms and governments to improve their AI and machine learning workflows.”
With the new FCC license “better resolution will be available to some customers,” Umbra said in a March 11 news release. “Umbra anticipates being the sole commercial provider of these high-resolution radar products in the United States and will be selling imagery commercially to customers based in the United States and to allies abroad.”
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