PredaSAR is getting ready to activate its radar imaging constellation for the first time

Satellites Space

PredaSAR, a firm that specializes in radar imaging, is getting ready to launch its maiden satellite on the SpaceX Transporter-6 rideshare, which is set to launch in October.

Terran Orbital Corp. is constructing a constellation of about 96 radar satellites that will be “completely deployed by the end of 2026,” according to Michael Moran, who works as the senior vice president in charge of the defense and intelligence systems.

“It’s a significant boost in capability,” he said, compared to the company’s earlier objective of only 48 satellites. Terran Orbital, a satellite manufacturer, is PredaSAR’s parent firm.

PredaSAR, which was established in 2019, will enter the competitive synthetic aperture radar (SAR) sector, which is gaining traction as an increasing quantity of commercial SAR satellites capture imagery over Ukraine. SAR imagery, unlike visible spectrum imagery, can see through clouds, bad weather, even at night. This feature is useful for monitoring Ukraine, which is frequently obscured by clouds, according to Moran.

“People expect all-weather coverage 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

He remarked, “You can’t wait until it’s sunny to get an answer.”

“We find that the SAR demand signal has significantly surged,” Moran said. The National Reconnaissance Office, which has traditionally not acquired commercial radar data but is now attempting to build connections with numerous providers, is a significant target customer for PredaSAR.

Unlike other SAR operators, PredaSAR’s owner Terran Orbital is developing larger spacecraft weighing between 350 and 400 kilograms.

“This increased relative size provides us with a number of benefits, including significant power generation and storage potential for the power-hungry task of a sophisticated radar platform,” Moran explained. Terran Orbital is also developing its own radar payloads.

In order to achieve high revisit rates over areas of the world where interest is growing, such as Ukraine, the business aims to break the constellation into mid-inclination and sun-synchronous orbit satellites.

Only the US government had mature space-based radar devices for national security use until recently, according to Moran, and now the commercial industry is demonstrating advanced capabilities.

He praised institutions such as the Defense Innovation Unit, which began collaborating with commercial SAR manufacturers five years ago. Capella Space, which presently operates a seven-satellite SAR network, has DIU as an early pilot customer.

Roger W. Teague, a former Air Force Major General, has been named Chief Executive Officer of the company. As an alumnus of the United States Air Force Academy, Maj. Gen. Roger Teague was posted in 1986. He worked on a variety of projects during his career, primarily purchasing, operating, and maintaining space systems. He headed the 4th Space Operations Squadron throughout the launch, test, as well as operational activation of 3 Milstar communications satellites, which was one of his most important duties. He also worked for the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Acquisition in Washington, D.C. as the Director of Space Programs.

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