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Tuesday, Sep 26, 2023

NASA Links With Satellite Maker Iceye

Iceye US Inc., which makes satellites that can see through bad weather, night skies and daylight, will be supplying NASA with imagery of the Earth under an agreement signed earlier this year.

The arrangement lets NASA acquire Iceye’s data for evaluation by scientific and academic communities to determine suitability for advancing NASA’s Earth Science research objectives.

Iceye specializes in synthetic aperture radar satellites (SAR) to provide high-resolution images.

The Irvine-based company is a domestic subsidiary of Finnish firm Iceye.

In March, NASA said it had awarded a Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) to Iceye for the delivery of its high-resolution satellite data products. The recently announced “task order” is the first time NASA has obtained Iceye data under the BPA, which supports the agency’s Commercial SmallSat Data Acquisition Program.

Under the agreement, the government will issue fixed-price “calls” for the company’s data, “not to exceed value of $7 million per call.” Iceye told the Business Journal it does not have a specific money amount in mind. The performance period is five years.

NASA official Will McCarty said in a statement released Aug. 9 that the space agency wants to know “how these small satellite constellations can complement existing NASA datasets and capabilities.” There is a wide variety of applications for Iceye’s SAR data.

Insurance, Security

Government and business uses for the Iceye imagery range from insurance questions to national security issues and climate change monitoring.

“Iceye sensors provide a persistent source of information for important research concerning geology, topography, and climate change among other fields,” said Eric Jensen, the CEO of Iceye US.

Iceye US operates satellites from a Missions Operations Center in Irvine.

The company owns and operates a constellation of SAR satellites, each weighing about 220 pounds, which provide persistent monitoring of locations anywhere on Earth in near real time.

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