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Capella X-SAR

Capella X-SAR

Capella Space recently launched 3 new X-band SAR satellites dubbed Capella X-SAR. These satellites are capable of imaging 30 cm range resolution with 50 cm ground surface resolution. Capella currently has the highest resolution commerical SAR in the world (50 cm x 50 cm) and is the first commerical SAR operator in the USA.

Capella X-SAR is capable of imaging in three modes: Spot, Site, and Strip. Spot, the highest resolution at 0.5 m over a 5×5 km square scene, takes a series of images over a single ‘spot’ for short period. Site, the next highest resolution at 1.0 m over a 3 x 10 km rectangular scene, can continue capturing images as it ‘slides’ over the target area. Stripmap, the lowest resolution at 1.7 m over 5 x 20+ km scene, is capable of imaging a continuous stretch providing more rapid, large-scale imaging. Treat Site (Sliding Spotlight Mode) as a middle ground between Spot’s location specific, high resolution captures and Stripmap’s continuous fly-by imaging.

Where Capella excels is with it’s combination of both a world leading imaging bandwidth (up to 500 MHz) and their “multi-looking” process. This “multi-looking” process allows for reduced speckling.

The current generation of satellites is images with single polarization (HH). Effects of HH polarization can be seen in the images below with varying crop orientations. The tangerine tree rows perpendicular to the slant range (bottom left corner) appear to be much wider in size as the horizontal waves sense the crowns of each row, more so than the spaces inbetween. The other fields show a clear delineation between ground and tree crowns as the rows are parallel allowing the horizontal waves to detect both the crowns and the gaps between them. A more accurate reading for an area with both orientations would require a dual combination. Dual or Quad polarizations are expected for future generations. These additions will allow for multidirectional waves and shorter wait periods for tasking that requires alignment to the target.

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Budowa modeli 3D budynków w projekcie Centrum Analiz Przestrzennych Administracji Publicznej (CAPAP)