Pritula bought an ICEYE satellite – we answer common questions about the device

Earlier channel 24 I have already told how the ICEYE satellite, which was at the disposal of Ukraine, can significantly help the armed forces of Ukraine in the war against Russian terrorists. This advanced tool is sure to improve the ability to monitor the operational area in time, respond and prevent attacks and improve tactical planning.

Don’t miss the Ukrainian Armed Forces explained what space superiority over the enemy they got thanks to the ICEYE satellite

Along with the satellite, Ukraine also got access to a library of images for the coming year – everything is ready here. But what about the satellite itself? It is ours or after a certain period it will have to be “given away”. We decided to investigate the situation and turned to the person who directly helped to acquire a satellite – Max Polyakov.

Who is Max Polyakov?

This is a Ukrainian entrepreneur working in space technology and IT at the international level. He is the managing partner of the investment fund Noosphere Ventures, as well as the founder of Firefly Aerospace, EOS Data Analytics, SETS, Renatus, Maxpay and others.

Head of EOS SAR at EOS Data Analytics Nick Kowalski explained why the agreement between ICEYE and the Serhiy Prytula Charitable Foundation is an important step towards strengthening Ukraine’s space capabilities.

  • First, only a limited number of countries have SAR satellites, which gives Ukraine a competitive advantage in acquiring data. Ukraine will receive them in an approximate real-time mode, due to which the time from ordering to receiving data will be reduced to hours.
  • Secondly, the satellite is already in orbit, that is, there is no need to wait for its launch, and the images are immediately analyzed and used for the intended purpose.
  • Third, Ukraine will receive images as long as the satellite continues to operate.

Bought or rented?

EOS Data Analytics talked in more detail about what the ICEYE satellite is capable of and how long it will stay in Ukraine.

According to the agreement, the Ukrainian side gets both the satellite and access to the satellite constellation database. When the paid period of access to the database expires, the specified satellite remains in full ownership of Ukraine – until its functionality in orbit expires,
– listed in the company.

How often can a satellite photograph the territory of Ukraine?

The ICEYE satellite constellation consists of 21 satellites. Ukraine, on the other hand, acquired a satellite located in the most favorable orbit for monitoring the territory of Ukraine.

The satellite flies over the territory of our country twice a day and can only take pictures when it is directly above us. For this, in addition to the device itself, a subscription was required to access the database of images taken by other ICEYE probes.

The acquired satellite operates over the territory of Ukraine solely to achieve the goals and fulfill the tasks of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Although the satellite is not over the territory of Ukraine, we can receive data due to access to the SAR constellation of ICEYE satellites. Access is guaranteed
– explained in EOS Data Analytics.

By the way, satellite images of the territory of our country are received only by the Ukrainian side as the owner of the satellite, so access is exclusive.

What happens if a satellite fails?

Outer space is full of hazards in the form of micrometeoroids and space debris, which pose a real threat to satellites in orbit. The chance of a Ukrainian satellite colliding with such an object is not high, but it exists. What if the ICEYE satellite bought by the Ukrainians fails? EOS Data Analytics also clarified this point.

The satellite is insured and guaranteed by ICEYE. In the event of a technical failure, the seller undertakes to provide the Ukrainian side with an identical satellite.

How good will the pictures be?

There are several aspects here that should be noted. Firstly, SAR technology allows taking pictures both during the day and at night, with clouds (which is important for our country), with fog and other weather phenomena. The radio waves from such satellites can also break through smoke and ash. Thus, the satellite can shoot around the clock.

Second, the resolution of images is from 0.5 to 1 meter, depending on the coverage area of ​​the image. An image can cover an area of ​​up to 225 square kilometers.


ICEYE satellite takes clear images in the microwave range / Photo by ICEYE

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Do foreign partners not provide us with satellite images?

Foreign partners provide Ukraine with satellite images, but usually with a significant delay. Due to the fact that Ukraine bought the satellite, the process of data transmission from the moment of the image to the moment it is directly received by the military units is reduced to several hours. In war conditions, the speed of obtaining information is a significant advantage.

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