The radar imaging satellite NovaSAR-1, carrying an Airbus S-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) built in Portsmouth, has been launched successfully on a PSLV launcher from India. The spacecraft was built under the leadership of Surrey Satellite Technology Limited, an Airbus subsidiary.
The innovative small satellite will be used to monitor the Earth day and night. SAR instruments can see through clouds to enable uninterrupted imaging of the Earth below, which is key when monitoring changes of features on the ground. NovaSAR-1 is the first SAR spacecraft to be manufactured entirely in the UK and is a technology demonstration mission designed to test the capabilities of a new low cost S-Band SAR platform. The satellite is owned by SSTL.
MDA, a Maxar Technologies company has signed a multi-million-dollar contract with the South African National Space Agency (SANSA) for a one-year maritime surveillance programme that includes the delivery of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data products from the RADARSAT-2 satellite, using MDA’s global network of ground receiving stations. The contract includes two additional option years.
As part of the Presidential programme Operation Phakisa, SANSA has been tasked to acquire SAR imagery with the aim of enhancing the monitoring and protection of South Africa’s coastal regions and oceans. Initiatives under this programme are considered crucial in accelerating the delivery of South Africa’s development priorities.
European Space Imaging awarded £ 20 million maritime contract
European Space Imaging has been awarded its third major contract for the provision of very high-resolution optical satellite data to the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA). EMSA includes optical satellite images as part of its maritime surveillance services to the European Commission and Member States to support a number of functions in the maritime domain. www.euspaceimaging.com
An advanced remote-sensing technology developed by US space agency NASA to map minerals on the moon and Mars is being used in India for the first time to prospect for gold, diamonds, platinum and rare earth elements.
Rare earth metals are a group of 17 elements with many similar properties and are often found together in geologic deposits. They’re in high demand across the world because of their use in high technology devices such as smart phones, digital cameras, computer hard disks, fluorescent and LED lights and computer monitors, among others.
“In its pursuit for minerals, the GSI is going to use ultra-modern remote sensing technology to find lead, zinc, copper, gold, diamond and platinum, among others. This will be used for the first time in India,” Dinesh Gupta, director general, Geological Survey of India (GSI).
Called Advanced Visible Infra-Red Imaging Spectrometer-Next Generation (AVIRIS-NG), the sensor-based technology that will now be used in India has been proved effective for mapping surface mineralogy on earth, the moon and Mars. The AVIRIS-NG sensor was mounted on an ISRO aircraft to get hyperspectral images of 14 mineralised blocks across India, including in Jhagadia in Gujarat, Udaipur in Rajasthan, Chhatarpur in Madhya Pradesh and Kuhi-Khobna in Maharashtra, among others.
GSI signed a MoU with the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), a wing of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), on September 5, to analyse data to trace the minerals from the hyperspectral images taken by ISRO in three phases – October to November 2015, January to February 2016, and April to May 2018. www.hindustantimes.com
Australian Space Agency signs a statement of strategic intent with Airbus
The Australian Space Agency has signed a statement of strategic intent with European manufacturing giant Airbus Defence and Space SAS. The Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews welcomed the signing, the first by Australia’s new agency with an industry partner, sending a strong signal for further investment opportunities.
Quanergy Systems has announced the availability of its S3-2 solid state LiDAR sensor. It features Quanergy’s proprietary QORTEX™ object profiling software directly embedded within the sensor, resulting in the industry’s first all-in-one sensing solution. Quanergy views solid state LiDAR technology as essential to the future of smart sensing and perception. The S3-2’s lack of moving or vibrating parts enables it to perform with the highest level of reliability, longevity, and cost efficiency while requiring less power.
Raytheon strengthens tie up with HawkEye 360
Information and Services business is collaborating with commercial small satellite company, HawkEye 360 Inc., as part of its ongoing focus to provide innovative commercial technologies and more precise data to the government sector.
The alliance includes a strategic investment in HawkEye 360 and provides Raytheon with a unique level of access to data, enhancing the company’s analytics services for government customers. HawkEye 360 is pioneering the use of low-flying, small satellites to collect radio frequencies for use in next-generation geospatial services. HawkEye 360 will launch its Pathfinder cluster of three small satellites at the end of 2018, with additional clusters planned until the full constellation is in orbit by 2020.