Capella Space released this image Oct. 6, 2020, of Palm Jumeirah in Dubai. "Individual balconies of the tall buildings on either side of the Nakheel Mall are visible, as well as boats moored at the docks behind the buildings," Capella CEO Payam Banazadeh wrote in a blog post. "The incredible dynamic range and low noise in this picture allows you to see wakes left behind by boats as well as waves on the ocean surface." Credit: Capella Space

SAN FRANCISCO —  Capella Space unveiled images Oct. 6 from Sequoia, the first of 36 Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellites the San Francisco startup plans to send into a constellation to collect global imagery with hourly updates.

“When I started Capella Space in 2016, there were a number of European providers operating and building commercial SAR, but the United States had no horse in the commercial SAR race,” Payam Banazadeh, Capella Space founder and CEO, said in a blog post. “Capella decided to change that dynamic, and challenge the international competition by bringing a fully American designed, built and operated capability to market. Today we accomplished that goal and we can proudly say we are the first American SAR operator.”

Capella released three images with a resolution of two meters, showing Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, Santa Ana Volcanoes in El Salvador and Sundarban National Park in India.

Sequoia, Capella’s first operational satellite, launched Aug. 30 on a Rocket Lab Electron.

“Over the coming weeks and months, we will continue sharing images that showcase some of the higher resolution imagery including our 50-centimeter resolution Spot, more advanced capabilities and the unique advantages of our systems,” Banazadeh wrote. “These advantages will include exceptionally large imaging capacity, the highest resolution available commercially, near real-time collection and delivery latency, and incredible ease of use of our services and customer service.”

Debra Werner is a correspondent for SpaceNews based in San Francisco. Debra earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University. She...