SAN FRANCISCO – Iceye, the Finnish radar satellite constellation operator, announced an agreement Nov. 6 with RS Metrics, a satellite imagery and geospatial analytics company, to provide data on iron ore inventories to the commodities market.

It will be the first global iron ore inventories dataset drawing on synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery and will be updated as often as every day, according to the news release.

Iceye operates a constellation of three small SAR satellites in low Earth orbit. The company plans to launch two more satellites in 2019.

“The consistent flow of analyzed SAR data — on a global scale — from Iceye allows users of our already established platform to track iron ore supplies at an unmatched frequency of updates,” Maneesh Sagar, CEO of RS Metrics of Stamford, Connecticut, said in a statement. “This partnership of RS Metrics and Iceye gives our customers exactly what they need to be more successful than ever before.”

Under the memorandum of understanding, Iceye will provide multi-angle SAR imaging and analysis of iron ore stockpiles to RS Metrics. RS Metrics, in turn, will provide commodities traders and industry analysts with information on supply chain disruptions, regional and global trends, as well as inventory information.

“The commodities sector can benefit greatly from the reliability that comes with SAR satellite imaging,” said Pekka Laurila, Iceye co-founder and chief strategy officer, said in a statement. “Traders can get ahead of the market with an added visibility into the supply chain. What Iceye and RS Metrics bring to the market together is unprecedented information about the global iron ore value chain based on frequent satellite revisit times, unmatched data reliability, and added value insights into the iron ore supply chain.”

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...