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Umbra achieves Commercial SAR milestone with 16-cm resolution
Dole Pineapple Garden Maze (Honolulu, HI)
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Umbra achieves Commercial SAR milestone with 16-cm resolution
by Staff Writers
Santa Barbara CA (SPX) Aug 11, 2023

Space technology firm Umbra has reached a significant milestone by generating a 16-cm resolution Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) image, marking the highest resolution for a commercial satellite image ever shared with the public. This breakthrough development comes as the company reveals its enhanced capability to deliver its best satellite data to customers, inclusive of intricate data with resolutions finer than 25 cm.

This advancement in Umbra's services can be attributed to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) lifting the temporary licensing conditions which previously restrained Umbra's operations.

Umbra's co-founder and president, Gabe Dominocielo, reflected on the implications of NOAA's decision, stating, "The removal of the temporary license conditions by NOAA is impactful news for both Umbra and our customers. This means that we are finally able to offer customers the highest resolution images that our satellites are capable of capturing, setting the stage for even further expansion of products to customers."

Highlighting its advanced technology, Umbra provides an industry-first spotlight mode with resolutions of 25-cm and 35-cm. Additionally, the firm offers 50-cm, 1-m resolutions, and multi-looked spotlight modes. These multi-looked modes leverage extended dwell times to diminish speckle, facilitating clearer visual interpretations.

Furthermore, all spotlight offerings from Umbra are compatible with various data formats, including GEC, SICD, SIDD, and CPHD. Ensuring flexibility for its users, Umbra's data comes with a Creative Commons license, ensuring users have broad permissions to use the data, given they acknowledge Umbra as the source.

But the company's endeavors aren't restricted to its commercial undertakings. Umbra actively captures and disseminates high-resolution SAR data from various global locations through its Open Data Program (ODP). A testament to their commitment to transparency and community access, just last week, Umbra's contributions to the ODP surpassed the $1 million mark in terms of free SAR data. Remarkably, the amount of open data released by Umbra outweighs the combined contributions of all other SAR data providers.

The ODP, which sees updates multiple times weekly, empowers users to monitor time-series data and spot changes at each site. With the recent modifications to NOAA's licensing, Umbra has also incorporated 25-cm imagery along with the newly accessible phase history data into the ODP.

Broadening the horizons of Earth observation, Umbra's state-of-the-art satellite constellation is poised to play an instrumental role for organizations worldwide. With an increasing number of entities relying on satellite data to inform decision-making on global issues, Umbra's high-quality data emerges as a crucial resource. The potential applications span various domains, from tracking pollution and detecting oil spills to military intelligence and monitoring wildlife habitats.

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