U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Roger W. Teague. Credit: U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation

SAN FRANCISCO – PredaSAR Corp., a Terran Orbital company, plans to deploy an initial constellation of 48 radar satellites with the goal of offering customers the ability to obtain updated views of sites on the ground within minutes.

PredaSAR’s first two satellites, in what the firm says will be the world’s largest Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) constellation, are “under construction” at Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems, another Terran Orbital company, Marc Bell, Terran Orbital chairman and co-founder, told SpaceNews.

PredaSAR is in negotiations with U.S. launch vehicle providers to begin sending satellite into orbit in early 2021, said Bell, PredaSAR co-founder and executive chairman.

PredaSAR, founded in 2019, is the latest entrant in the race to deploy constellations of small SAR satellites to serve government and commercial customers. The Florida startup, led by retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Roger Teague, raised $25 million in a seed funding investment round announced in March.

Although PredaSAR has not said anything about the size of its satellites, Bell said, they will be larger than the satellites its competitors are building and flying. With larger satellites, PredaSAR’s constellation will offer “more power, more sensors, higher resolution and more bandwidth,” Bell said.

Iceye of Finland launched the first commercial SAR satellite weighing less than 100 kilograms in January 2018.

San Francisco-based Capella Space plans to begin launching operational SAR satellites weighing 100 kilograms this year.

This year, Umbra Lab of Santa Barbara also is scheduled to begin launching 50-kilogram SAR satellites.

The COVID-19 pandemic has not disrupted PredaSAR’s production schedule because Tyvak was considered an essential business and allowed to continue building satellites.

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...