Iceye expands staff to prepare for constellation

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SAN FRANCISCO — Iceye, the Earth observation startup based in Helsinki, has two new vice presidents to help customers gain access to imagery from its existing and planned Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellites .

Iceye hired Leola Moss as its vice president for product delivery and operations. Steve Young joins Iceye as vice president for business development and sales, Iceye announced Feb. 27.

Iceye is expanding its staff as it begins selling data from Iceye-X2, the SAR microsatellite launched on the Dec. 3 SpaceX Falcon 9 rideshare mission, and prepares to launch five additional SAR satellites in 2019.

“The commercial operations of Iceye are growing according to plan,” Rafal Modrzewski, Iceye chief executive, said by email. “As Iceye keeps launching new satellites, our commercially available SAR imaging capacity keeps going up as well. Moss and Young are here to support our customers with the increasing volume and pace of radar imaging that our teams are delivering. In concrete terms, we’re going from thousands of frames taken each year to hundreds of thousands very quickly.”

Young, who previously worked for BAE Systems, Earth-i and Surrey Satellite Technology Limited, said, “This is a good time to bring in someone like myself to start pushing [data] into the marketplace; to raise awareness and start to get international customers to understand how to make use of this new service.”

Moss, who worked for Planet and Google before joining Iceye, said by email she will focus on “timely and reliable data delivery. As new satellites are added to our overall system, more complexity and automation enters the process. That’s where I come in – making sure that the factory is up and running 24/7.”

Iceye-X2 is working well and demonstrating its ability to capture SAR data in three different ways, Modrzewski said in a recent interview.

Iceye-X2 gathers high-resolution imagery focused on a specific area, a product Iceye calls Spotlight. The satellite also captures medium-resolution, medium-swath imagery for a product called Stripmap and extremely wide-swath imagery for its Scansar product. For Scansar, Iceye-X2 can collect imagery continuously for tens of seconds, Modrzewski said, producing continuous datasets covering hundreds of kilometers.