Finnish space technology pioneer ICEYE received its first task order from NASA
On August 9th, ICEYE US received its first task order from the United States space agency NASA. The assignment is part of the NASA Commercial SmallSat Data Acquisition Program, which is funded by the NASA Science Mission Directorate's Earth Science Division.
A significant milestone for commercial SAR data
The Finnish space technology company ICEYE US received its first task order within NASA's SmallSat Data Acquisition Program (CSDA program). Within the framework of the CSDA program, ICEYE US and NASA have established a multi-year blanket purchase agreement, which was already announced in March of this year. This first task order under the CSDA program enables NASA to access ICEYE's SAR data (Synthetic-Aperture Radar Data), in order to assess its suitability for the promotion of NASA's Earth Science research objectives. ICEYE's SAR data complements NASA's own database with high-resolution and almost real-time Earth observation data. In its related press release, ICEYE highlights the significance of the agreement between NASA and ICEYE US for commercial remote sensing data: "The agreement between ICEYE US and NASA represents a significant milestone for commercial SAR in the United States." Will McCarty, a researcher in NASA's CSDA program, also comments on the cooperation: NASA is excited to evaluate ICEYE data in the context of our Earth Science Research, Analysis, and Applications portfolios."
Monitoring in all weather conditions
ICEYE US is a subsidiary of the Finnish ICEYE Oy and operates its satellites from Irvine, California. Founded in 2014, ICEYE Oy, a pioneer in the space technology industry, produces near real-time and weather-independent remote sensing data. ICEYE's operations are based on SAR satellites, which can collect Earth observation data even through clouds, darkness, and smoke. Traditional electro-optical remote sensing technology was largely at the mercy of weather conditions. With about 70% of the Earth's surface being covered by cloud layers or darkness, the cloud-penetrating SAR technology enables remote sensing on an unprecedented scale. ICEYE has gained worldwide acknowledgment and is viewed as one of the leading providers of Earth observation services.
The collaboration with NASA is a significant leap for the young Finnish space company ICEYE. ICEYE US's CEO, Eric Jensen, positively commented on NASA's task order: "We are delighted that researchers at NASA centers across the country will gain access to the reliable data stream from our constellation of small radar satellites and in doing so, demonstrate the value of commercial SAR for the scientific community."