Ukrainians bought a satellite for the Army. How cool is that?

On August 18, Serhiy Prytula Charity Foundation informed the AIN.Capital editorial office about the purchase of the ICEYE satellite for Ukrainian defenders. The new radar satellite will provide Ukraine with uninterrupted access to data in any weather conditions.

EOSDA and its founder Max Polyakov, who were involved in the preparation of the deal, provided detailed information about the technical capabilities of this satellite – what and how it can capture and benefit Ukraine.

Details of the deal

  • ICEYE is a Finnish aerospace company. Its satellites take pictures of the Earth’s surface with a resolution of less than 1 meter.
  • The technologies of the ICEYE satellite allow to take pictures of the Ukrainian territory despite cloudiness, rain, snow, fog, smoke, or night time. The company owns more than 18 satellites, which, while flying over Ukraine, can collectively take about 36 pictures per day.
  • According to the deal, the Ukrainian side receives one of the satellite and access to the database of the constellation of satellites.
  • When the paid access to the database expires, the specified satellite remains in full ownership of Ukraine — until the end of its functionality in orbit.
  • ICEYE has insured and guaranteed the satellite. In the case of technical malfunction, the seller company undertakes to provide the Ukrainian side with an identical satellite.
  • Ukraine will receive data from the satellite in a close to real time mode. Thanks to that, the time from ordering to receiving data will be reduced to hours. The satellite is already in orbit, meaning there is no need to wait for its launch. Its images are immediately analyzed and used as intended.
  • The acquired satellite works over the Ukrainian territory exclusively to achieve the goals and tasks of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
Ukrainians bought a satellite for the Army-2
Image credit: ICEYE

Technical capabilities

  • Images from SAR satellites (synthetic aperture radar) are created using radio waves that are sent from the satellite to Earth, bounce off its surface, and return to the satellite’s sensors. Unlike optical satellites, radar satellites themselves “illuminate” objects with radio waves, so they do not depend on weather conditions.
  • The satellite flies over the Ukrainian territory twice a day. At other times, Ukraine has the opportunity to receive images from other SAR satellites of the ICEYE constellation, which also fly over Ukraine every day. In this way, the continuity of receiving data is ensured.
  • SAR technology allows you to take pictures both during the day and at night, in cloudy, foggy, and other weather conditions. Radio waves from such satellites are able to penetrate smoke and ash as well. Thus, the satellite can provide images 24/7.
  • Image characteristics: 1 image can cover an area of ​​up to 225 square kilometers The resolution is from 0.5 meters to 1 meter depending on the area covered by the picture.
  • The satellite operates in a sun-synchronous orbit. In 24 hours, the satellite turns around the Earth 15 times, moving at a speed of 7.5 km per second. The satellite is located at an altitude of 500-600 km above the Earth’s surface.
Ukrainians bought a satellite for the Army-1
Image credit: ICEYE

Why is this important?

Foreign partners do provide Ukraine with satellite images, but usually with a significant delay in time. Due to the fact that Ukraine bought the satellite, the process of data transfer from the moment of the image taking to the moment when it is received directly by military units is reduced to a few hours. In war conditions, the speed of obtaining information can be a significant advantage.

“Thanks to the purchase of the ICEYE satellite, Ukrainian satellite capabilities are strengthened: in combination with the GEOSAT 2 optical satellite, our country gains an advantage in space data analytics. Such a combination of technologies with the capabilities of professional analytics is a step to technologize not only Ukraine’s defensive capabilities, but also the recovery of the economy after the victory,” – Max Polyakov commented on the agreement.

AIN.Capital also reminds that companies EOS and GEOSAT (a company engaged in observing the Earth) announced cooperation earlier. This allowed Ukraine to receive high-precision images of its territory. Now, thanks to cooperation with ICEYE, the receiving of the real-time data will be much more advanced.