ORLANDO — Capella Space, a company that operates a constellation of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imaging satellites, is partnering with data analytics firms to help increase access to SAR imagery, the company announced Feb. 22.

SAR is a specialized form of remote sensing that has seen growing demand as SAR satellites can capture images at night, through cloud cover and rain — conditions that impair traditional optical satellites.

The first three companies to join Capella’s analytics partner program are Woolpert, an geospatial intelligence and strategic consulting firm; Kayrros, a global energy and environmental geoanalytics company; and Floodbase, a company that uses geospatial data to generate flood maps in real-time.

The analytics partner program was created due to “increasing global demand for geospatial products and solutions that leverage the power of SAR,” Payam Banazadeh, founder and CEO of Capella Space, said in a statement.

“While many organizations can benefit from information derived from SAR data, they often lack the tools to analyze and interpret the data at scale,” he said. “This new program will fill this gap by empowering partners to develop AI-powered geospatial solutions for a wide range of industry verticals. ’

Banazadeh said the need for Earth observation data is increasing with the growth and intensity of global geopolitical, commercial and environmental challenges. SAR is especially useful, he said, as more than 75% of the Earth is covered by clouds or darkness at any given time.

Capella said access to sufficient volumes of training data is a challenge for developers seeking to build solutions with commercial satellite imagery. The company is looking to “remove those barriers by opening its archive for partners.”

Jon Downey, senior vice president of Woolpert, said this program “is going to make it possible for us to unlock a wide range of new and exciting use cases for our customers.

“SAR is an important tool in the toolbox for our parametric flood insurance solution,” said Bessie Schwarz, CEO of Floodbase. 

Sandra Erwin writes about military space programs, policy, technology and the industry that supports this sector. She has covered the military, the Pentagon, Congress and the defense industry for nearly two decades as editor of NDIA’s National Defense...