A new satellite from Capella Space is capable of taking high-resolution images anywhere in the world, even through the walls of buildings, according to Futurism.
What makes the Capella-2 satellite nothing short of magnificent is its onboard sensor, called the Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), which can snap a picture in night or day, rain or shine.
Futurism says SAR technology “works similarly to how dolphins and bats navigate using echolocation.”
“The satellite beams down a powerful 9.65 GHz radio signal toward its target, and then collects and interprets the signal as it bounces back up into orbit. And because the satellite is sending down its own signal rather than passively capturing light, sometimes those signals can even penetrate right through a building’s wall, peering at the interior like Superman’s X-ray vision.”
Capella Space CEO Payam Banazadeh, a former system engineer at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, told the technology-based news publication that most surveillance and observational satellites in low Earth orbit do not have the ability to view land-based objects through clouds or at night. He said the Capella 2 satellite can take clear images during night or day, rain or shine.
“It turns out that half of the world is in nighttime, and half of the world, on average, is cloudy,” Banazade said. “When you combine those two together, about 75 percent of Earth, at any given time, is going to be cloudy, nighttime, or it’s going to be both. It’s invisible to you, and that portion is moving around.”
This week Capella Space launched a platform allowing government agencies and private organizations to request images of anything in the world.
Capella Space Platform
The company is expected to create a constellation of satellites in low Earth orbit that, combined, can produce clear radar images of anywhere in the world every hour.
Image of Tokyo
Certainly, this type of invasive surveillance technology will fuel panic among the privacy watchdog community.