UK to launch small radar satellite
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UK to launch small radar satellite

The NovaSAR radar satellite looks like a cheese-grater but aims to bring down the cost of Earth observation imagery.

The 3m-long platform is regarded as an "operational demonstrator" - that is to say, it will showcase a capability but with the intention that its data is put to good use to develop services.

Radar works at wavelengths that allow it to pierce cloud to see the surface of the Earth in all weathers, and in darkness.

NovaSAR will use this vision to make forestry assessments in the tropics (frequent cloud) and at high latitude (poor light conditions); to support disaster relief (radar is very good at sensing flood water); and to monitor shipping routes.

  • 26 Sep 2017