HELSINKI, Finland - ICEYE in Espoo, Finland, and and SATLANTIS in Bilbao, Spain, have announced their intention to team together to develop and manufacture a proposed Tandem for Earth Observation (Tandem4EO) constellation consisting of two radar and two VHR optical satellites. The announced program is planned to support the NewSpace strategy of several European Union nations, with a focus on Spain.
The companies noted that ICEYE's manufacturing and R&D facilities in Jumilla, and the headquarters of SATLANTIS in Bilbao - both in Spain - will be at the heart of the development, manufacturing and planned cooperation. Both companies will continue to increase their investments in their local operations, supporting Earth observation downstream applications in the European Union, and the growth of the local NewSpace ecosystem.
The Tandem4EO constellation is planned to be launched as a collection of four satellites in total, each capable of under 1-meter resolution imaging. The satellites are to be flown in a sun-synchronous orbit, with two ICEYE synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imaging spacecraft flying in a bistatic formation, and two SATLANTIS high-resolution optical imaging spacecraft trailing behind. The constellation intends to serve solutions related to natural catastrophes, security, environmental monitoring at land and sea, infrastructure development, precise SAR Interferometry (InSAR) based change detection and more.
What makes the development of the Tandem4EO constellation unique is that the combination of SAR and optical imaging with video capability will enable a new level of effectiveness for assessing in detail what is happening in a location of interest right now and over time. With this dual-instrument approach, data users will gain the benefits of versatility, reliability, and ease of use. In addition, the bi-static nature of the ICEYE SAR satellites allows for simultaneous radar acquisitions to produce InSAR data.
"Spain is in a remarkable position in Europe, with two leading NewSpace companies established in its territory opening new and unique opportunities in Earth observation," says Juan Tomás Hernani, CEO of SATLANTIS. "This proposed initiative is the type of aerospace collaboration that would not have been feasible before. We're in the golden age of New Space, and now is the right time to act on it."