Capella Space unveils the world’s highest-resolution commercial SAR imagery


Capella Space has released its 50 cm x 50 cm Spotlight or “Spot” imagery, delivering the highest resolution commercial synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery in the world. Prior to Capella, the best resolution on the market was 1 m x 25 cm with non-square pixels which created its own challenges. In the midst of increasing global change, Capella Space is setting the standard for how large organizations extract key insights and make better decisions through Earth observation data. Capella Space’s Spot imagery delivers the highest resolution, most effective all-American made SAR imagery data on the market.

“Everything we do is through the lens of how we can help our customers make better decisions with data and grapple with the accelerating pace of change in the world today,” said Payam Banazadeh, CEO and founder of Capella Space. “After launching our prototype satellite in late 2018 we evolved our satellites with customer requirements in mind, focusing on resolution, quality, latency, and user experience. Last week we unveiled our real-time tasking capabilities that minimize latency and today we are unveiling our high resolution and high-quality imaging capabilities. Our 50 cm x 50 cm Spot imagery is the highest resolution SAR imagery in the commercial market that is allowed by US regulations. All of these breakthroughs, innovations, and milestones will ultimately help our U.S. Government, commercial, and international ally customers make critical, high-impact, and potentially life-saving decisions.”

Roswell International Air Center, New Mexico — Capella’s very high-resolution Spot imagery shows retired aircraft and their shadows, revealing granular details such as the size of a cockpit, fuselage, wings, and engines

Much of the Earth is covered by clouds and darkness at any given time. Traditional electro-optical satellite imagery cannot capture imagery at night or through clouds, creating a substantial limitation to Earth observation data. At the same time, as the complexities of an interconnected world are increasing so is the demand for reliable and accurate information. Capella Space’s SAR imagery propels the Earth observation industry forward with timely, highly detailed data in all weather and light conditions. The imagery is sharper, more intuitive, and helps users derive previously untapped insights from highly distinguishable features in each image. For Capella Space’s customers, these advantages have significance for the world’s security and prosperity.

Lake Tiangang, China — 50 cm x 50 cm SAR imagery captures a floating solar farm, making up half of manmade Lake Tiangang in China. A zoomed-in version shows the individual solar arrays arranged in the shape of a fish
The first American commercial SAR delivers the highest resolution imagery available today

Capella Space achieves this new 50 cm x 50 cm imagery by dwelling its satellites over a single area of interest for up to 60 seconds, a satellite capability uniquely designed and built by Capella Space engineers. Capella Space’s 50 cm x 50 cm SAR imagery delivers a number of key benefits for customers, including:

  • Highest-resolution – Capella Space’s 50 cm x 50 cm imagery (in both ground range & azimuth) delivers a resolution two times higher than what was previously available in the commercial SAR market. Prior to Capella the highest resolution commercial SAR imagery was 1 m x 25 cm. U.S. regulations do not allow any commercial sales of SAR imagery better than 50 cm in resolution, but Capella is able to sell higher resolution to USG customers.
  • More usable and effective – Capella’s SAR high-resolution imagery delivers more signal with less noise in each image. SAR has typically been difficult for visual analysis due to noise and speckle, but Capella’s unique long dwell Spot mode allows for image clarity that is unprecedented in the market.
  • The U.S. designed, built, and operated with a global view – Capella is the only American commercial SAR company that has vertically designed, built, and now operates, its SAR satellites with manufacturing facilities in California and Colorado. The vertical integration and security infrastructure of Capella’s satellites allows the tight integration between hardware, software, and operations which enables new imaging modes like Capella’s unique Spot imagery.
  • Fastest & most reliable – With Capella’s global network of ground stations and its real-time tasking using the first LEO-GEO communication through Inmarsat, Capella’s customers can take advantage of the rapid tasking & delivery of Capella’s SAR satellites for their most urgent needs. Capella’s mission operations are built on a fully automated system that removes manual and long interactions between customers and the operator.
  • Seamless user experience – Capella’s web platform also makes it possible to rapidly task and collect imagery in a secure cloud-native experience, another first for SAR. The result is fewer blind spots in the world and rapid insight generation.


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