Capella Space: Delivering Timely, High-Quality Earth Observation Data with Growing Constellation of Synthetic Aperture Radar Satellites

Payam Banazadeh, CEO and Amy Hopkins, VP & GM Capella Space, Capella SpacePayam Banazadeh, CEO and Amy Hopkins, VP & GM Capella Space
Despite the thousands of satellites in orbit today, nearly 75 percent of the Earth is unobservable at any given moment due to cloud cover or darkness. Payam Banazadeh, founder of Capella Space, firmly believes this is unacceptable. If we hope to keep our planet and the people living on it safe, we need to do better. Particularly now, as the world faces intense geopolitical, environmental, and humanitarian challenges, we need access to reliable, 24/7, high-quality Earth observation data. Payam founded Capella Space in 2016 to address this need. Today, the company is one of the top providers of satellite imagery and space data for the U.S. government as well as for international defense and intelligence agencies and commercial customers around the world, delivering mission critical information to top decision-makers when they need it most.

Capella designs, builds, and operates a highly efficient and growing constellation of small, synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites and delivers critical imagery and insights to its global customers. Unlike optical satellite imagery, which requires daylight and clear skies to capture images, the sensors on Capella’s satellites are able to penetrate clouds, fog, smoke and rain during the day or night, enabling fast, 24/7 monitoring of the Earth regardless of weather or time of day.

This technology is not new-- in fact, the U.S. government has operated SAR satellites for decades. However, these early government satellites were very large, slow and cumbersome, and they required lengthy processes for access to classified data. Capella has miniaturized the technology components, redesigning the satellites for fast turnaround of high resolution imagery. By commercializing SAR with the highest quality output, Capella has streamlined the process for satellite tasking, image capture and data delivery, enabling its government and commercial customers to quickly access critical information when they need it most.
“As the first U.S. company to launch and operate commercial SAR satellites, we offer the highest quality, highest resolution commercial SAR imagery readily available on the market, with the fastest delivery speeds,” says Payam.

The Ukraine-Russia War is a prime example of the power of high-quality commercial SAR. Many analysts speculate that Russia strategically timed the Ukraine invasion for February and March because the region is typically covered in heavy clouds around this time, presumably making it easier to avoid detection from space. The U.S. and Ukrainian governments immediately saw the value of Capella’s imaging capabilities to quickly help monitor and track movements on the ground. Since early on in the war, Capella Space has worked closely with the U.S. and Ukrainian governments as well as other commercial entities to provide timely data and assistance around the ongoing conflict.

From the Russia-Ukraine war, to responding to extreme weather events and monitoring critical infrastructure, it’s clear that Earth-observation monitoring is vital to the well-being of our entire planet. Capella Space provides valuable and timely data to its customers to enable faster, more accurate decision-making.
  • As the first U.S. company to launch and operate commercial SAR satellites, we offer the highest quality, highest resolution commercial SAR imagery readily available on the market, with fastest delivery speeds


“With more satellites launching in 2023, Capella’s high-resolution SAR satellites are matched with unparalleled infrastructure to deliver reliable global insights that sharpen our understanding of the changing world, improving decisions about commerce, conservation, and security on earth,” says Amy Hopkins, VP & GM at Capella Space.

In addition to building and operating its own SAR satellites, Capella Space offers a highly secure, market-leading data infrastructure to deliver global insights. The company offers services to schedule, collect and process SAR data on behalf of its customers. Alternatively, customers can directly task and download imagery themselves in the Capella Console, a fully automated scheduling system. The Capella Console empowers customers to choose their geographic area of interest and securely task the satellites themselves, providing them with direct access to the requested imagery as well as analytics products such as vessel detection, change detection, and global change monitoring. This industry first, automated satellite tasking, scheduling and delivery platform is a game-changer for the Earth imaging industry, which has traditionally relied on highly manual processes with long lead times.

Capella Space is on a mission to expand access to SAR data and empower both government agencies and commercial organizations with timely, reliable, high quality Earth observation data and analytics. If you’d like to learn more about Capella Space and its data offerings, visit capellaspace.com.
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Company
Capella Space

Headquarters
San Francisco, CA

Management
Payam Banazadeh, CEO and Amy Hopkins, VP & GM Capella Space

Description
Capella Space designs, builds, and operates a highly efficient and growing constellation of small, synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites and delivers critical imagery and insights to its global customers. Unlike optical satellites, which require daylight and clear skies to capture images, the sensors on Capella’s satellites can penetrate clouds, fog, smoke and rain during the day or night, enabling 24/7 monitoring of the Earth regardless of weather or time of day.

Capella Space