First Light Images from Capella-3 and Capella-4

2021 is shaping up to be a busy and exciting year for Capella Space. We launched Capella-3 and Capella-4, the most recent satellites in our rapidly growing SAR constellation, in the historic SpaceX Transporter-1 mission. We also celebrated our five-year anniversary, made the Fast Company Most Innovative Companies list for the second year running, and expanded our leadership team. Today we’re hitting another milestone with the release of the first light images from our most recent satellite launch. 

At a 50cm x 50cm resolution, these join our existing library of images as the highest resolution SAR data commercially available today, and the first images available from an American commercial SAR provider. Check them out below.

Above: Rybachiy Nuclear Submarine Base

This Spot image of the Rybachiy Nuclear Submarine Base focuses on Russia’s largest submarine base, where several docked subs can be seen in the frozen Avacha Bay. This SAR image is clear, high-resolution, and high-quality. A trained analyst can easily determine that the center submarine is 105m long and contains 3 fins, identifying it as the Akula-Class II submarine, K-295 or “Samara.”

Above: Beijing Temple of Heaven Park

The Temple of Heaven is one of Beijing’s most important imperial temples, and it is also a popular tourist destination. The weather in Beijing, including dense smog and sandstorms, often makes reliable Earth observation of the city challenging, and with an electro-optical (EO) image, the temple might be difficult to see. You can check out some EO images of Beijing from NASA here to see what we mean. However, our high-resolution SAR brightly illuminates the city center, revealing the magnificent architecture of the circular temple complex (36m in diameter). 

An economic analyst could use the parking lot in this image as a source of objective and timely information regarding the recovery of China’s domestic tourism industry as pandemic-related travel restrictions change.

Above: New Delhi – India Gate

This nighttime SAR image shows the Rajpath, the large ceremonial boulevard in New Dehli, leading to the India Gate. Traditional EO satellites cannot capture images at night, but Capella’s SAR technology depicts the Rajpath clearly, even in the dark. The reflected energy shows the arch as well as a large gathering of vehicles in front of the monument. 

This is an important site for analysts as the hexagonal park is often the location of national parades and protests. Other features in the image include the National War Museum, National Stadium, and the Dehli Golf Club, where a close inspection reveals sand traps.

Since our commercial operations launched earlier this year, our commercial constellation has collected more than 34TB of data and is on a path to collect many PB of data by the end of 2021. Our customers leverage this data for a variety of purposes, including infrastructure monitoring, understanding economic and geopolitical patterns, recognizing anomalous activity, and identifying objects like cars, trucks, and vessels with a high spatial and temporal resolution. The first light images from Capella-3 and Capella-4 offer just a small taste of how our SAR technology can effectively support these use cases.

We have more launches planned for 2021, so keep checking in with our blog for more updates on the continued expansion of our constellation. When paired with the market’s only fully automated order-to-delivery system, our growing constellation means our customers will access on-demand, all-weather global insights at unprecedented speed, revisit and capacity.