ICEYE's Synthetic-aperture Radar Satellite Constellation Gets its Second Satellite in Orbit

ICEYE, an Earth observation company that is creating the largest Synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) satellite constellation, has confirmed the successful launch of its satellite mission ICEYE-X2. Communications with the satellite were successfully established soon after the satellite was delivered into orbit via Spaceflight's SSO-A: SmallSat Express mission aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

Now in a sun-synchronous low Earth orbit, ICEYE-X2 is being commissioned for radar imaging. Launched from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, the launch represents ICEYE's second satellite successfully placed into orbit within one year and marks a crucial step towards the company's goal of creating the world's largest SAR satellite constellation by the end of 2019.

Building upon ICEYE's successful first mission ICEYE-X1, ICEYE-X2 has greatly increased in-orbit performance over its predecessor. These advancements include a significantly improved imaging resolution and the addition of propulsion for orbital adjustments, among others. The ICEYE-X2 satellite mission is aiming for further improvements in ICEYE's SAR imaging technology, and for the active delivery of SAR satellite imagery to initial customers.

Launched in January 2018 on-board India's PSLV-C40 rocket, ICEYE-X1 was the world's first SAR satellite under 100 kg placed into orbit. ICEYE-X1 successfully collected more than 600 images throughout its mission. By the end of 2019, ICEYE is on track to launch a total of 8 additional satellites.