Automating SAR: Making All-Weather, Nighttime Imaging More Accessible

Capella Space provides reliable and timely access to the unique, all-weather and nighttime imaging capabilities of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) technology to geospatial analysts around the world with simple, yet powerful tools. A streamlined platform easily integrates SAR data into existing workflows and complements other datasets, giving customers ultimate control over their orders and easy access to their data. This industry-leading platform enables customers to access multiple Capella satellites spanning across a diversity of orbits to directly capture the best quality SAR imagery across the globe with highest frequency. With an additional optional layer of data analytics, these tools provide readily available data and important insights to inform mission-critical decisions where reliable, consistent information is essential.  

Ordering nighttime imagery: task only the imagery you need 

One of the most exciting benefits of SAR is the ability to capture imagery throughout the night. Capella’s platform of automated tools gives customers direct access to fresh nighttime imagery or to nighttime images already in the company’s archive. These tools, which include a streamlined API and the intuitive, self-serve Capella Console, allow customers to choose the time of day or night for image capture. Customers can limit tasking to nighttime-only or can choose a specific time-window for automated repeat tasking campaigns. Capella also offers ordering based on observation direction, HH or VV polarization. These custom order parameters help customers focus on the exact data needed. Customers can also search the archive for any imagery over their area of interest based on a day or night collection time, making valuable nighttime imagery even more accessible. For less experienced users, Capella’s experienced technical support and customer success team can help navigate these choices. 

The self-serve Capella Console allows customers to choose the time of day or night for image capture

Pick your orbit: frequent, automated collection where you want it

Customers can also select automatic collection based on the satellite’s orbital plane—a capability unique to the industry—enabling high image frequency anywhere in the world. Most Earth observation data providers place their satellites in a Sun-Synchronous Orbit (SSO), which is the default for optical imagery providers, requiring sunlight to capture Earth imagery. Many providers use SSO because it costs less, maximizes available sunlight and solar energy needed for frequent imaging, and optimizes duty cycles.  

Capella chose a different path early-on with a customer-centric business and satellite constellation that serve a wider variety of use cases and customer requirements. This includes taking a different approach to how we place our satellites in-orbit. 

Capella satellites operate in multiple orbital planes, enabling them to revisit the same location more often for greatest image frequency

Capella’s advanced satellite design enables our constellation to operate in SSO as well as Mid-Inclination Orbits (MIOs), resulting in faster revisit capabilities in more regions around the world. Capella satellites orbit 2-3 times more often per day over mid-latitude regions than other providers, offering more chances to capture images where and when customers need them. The unique satellite design also provides an extended duty cycle that makes them capable of flying in darkness for extended periods of time, capturing more images throughout various times of the night. Capella offers direct access to these high-revisit and nighttime imaging capabilities through an automated tool in the Capella Console and API where customers can choose the orbital plane for their collect. This gives customers more tasking opportunities, increasing access to the highest-quality SAR data on the market. 

Automated analytic tools to speed your time to insights 

Analysts and decision-makers using geospatial data from other Earth observation data providers or Google maps are typically accustomed to multi-spectral or false color imagery that highlight identifiable targets. To streamline access to similar actionable insights from a black and white SAR image, Capella Space offers several automated analytic layers that can be added to any image order to easily pinpoint important objects and features in an area of interest. For example, customers interested in time-series analysis can easily schedule customized, repeat image tasking campaigns over weeks or months and leverage Capella’s change detection products to automatically compare these images over any given location. These analytic products aim to enhance, not overhaul existing workflows. This includes automated updates on the status of orders. When the order is complete, the analytic layers and source imagery are automatically delivered in the data formats customers need through their workflow of choice – the Capella Console, API, or directly pushed to an Amazon S3 bucket. All of these options and benefits are accessible through an easy interface, so even if someone is brand new to SAR, they are equipped with a user-friendly, intuitive system and can quickly access the highest quality SAR on the market. 

Vessel Detection helps analysts make sure they don’t miss any objects of interest in their visual analysis. Several vessels are detected here at the Polyarny Naval Base, home to Russia’s Northern fleet in the Barents Sea where weather conditions are often cloudy and unpredictable.
Capella’s Change Detection analytics offers automated time series analysis. Using the “red-fled, blue-new” standard for visualizing change between pairs of images, Change Detection reveals major construction progress, vegetation clearing, tidal activity, and the movement of vessels at the Ream Naval Base in Cambodia.

While Capella has been providing SAR imagery to customers all over the world for several years, we continue to innovate to make this data even more easily accessible to the geospatial field. Access to a selection of tools that offer nighttime ordering, high imaging frequency via diverse satellite orbits, and optional analytics layers enables customers to quickly derive insights from SAR and simplifies the integration of highest quality SAR data into daily decision-making workflows.

Click here to learn more about the Capella Console and APIs.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.