SAN FRANCISCO — Asia Pacific Satellite Inc. and Iceye, the Finnish company that launched the first synthetic aperture radar microsatellite, announced a memorandum of understanding May 15 to deliver radar imagery to government and commercial customers in South Korea.
“This partnership is significant for Iceye because it’s an additional step towards serving a growing global customer base, and in particular the South Korean market,” Rafal Modrzewski, Iceye CEO and co-founder told SpaceNews by email. “The local expertise of APSI allows Iceye to serve the local market effectively, and Iceye’s technology allows APSI to further the South Korean synthetic aperture radar market with improved radar satellite data capabilities.”
Iceye launched its first radar satellite in January 2018 on India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle and its second, Iceye-X2, in December on a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The company plans to launch as many as five additional satellites by the end of the year.
To quickly expand its global customer base, Iceye is focusing first on countries like South Korea where data consumers are quick to adopt the firm’s radar imagery, Modrzewski said. “Concretely, our capacity is needed worldwide, and those customers who are quick to act will continue to get Iceye’s attention first.”
APSI, a company based in Seoul and established in 2000, provides equipment and services for multiple government programs in South Korea, according to the May 15 news release. Working with Iceye, APSI will expand its business to provide “further data, hardware and radar imaging solutions to the government of South Korea,” the release added.