Capella Space’s Whitney constellation will feature curved, 3.5-meter aperture set mesh-based reflector antennas as opposed to a smaller rectangular antenna like the one on Denali, the firm’s technology demonstration satellite started in late 2018. Credit: Capella
The arrangement”formalizes the relationship between Capella and NGA,” Payam Banazadeh, Capella CEO and founder, told SpaceNews. “We can begin engaging some research that is going to be mutually interesting to the two parties.”
The NGA has established connections with commercial geospatial data providers in the past few years to help fulfill growing demand for timely and often updated imagery and information from U.S. intelligence and defense agencies. NGA establishes requirements for commercial satellite imagery, which the National Reconnaissance Office procures.
Capella is the initial U.S. commercial SAR satellite company to announce a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with NGA.
“This is an exciting partnership that has the potential to yield fresh intelligence chances,” Jarrett Adrian, NGA’s chief investigator for the Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, stated in a statement. “Capella’s high temporal resolution SAR imagery will give intelligence professionals key insight and tactical benefit.”
Capella started its first satellite in 2018. Since that time, the company increased the size of its own satellites and also redesigned the reflector antenna because of the Whitney constellation of seven satellites scheduled to begin launching around rockets flown SpaceX by Rocket Lab along with others, Banazadeh stated.
Since Capella is building SAR satellites in house,”there is quite bit of flexibility to consider through a client problem” and modify satellite parts, if needed, to solve it, Banazadeh stated.
“It is an integrated solution you have to come up with for these problems,” he added. “Since we control the process end-to-end, the sooner we have those inputs, the sooner we can go back and tweak and edit and change and optimize items for your client.”
NGA isn’t the very first U.S. government service to work with Capella. The company signed a contract with the National Reconnaissance Office in December and with the U.S. Navy in May.
They assist the bureaus and Capella get to understand each other, although some of the authorities contracts are small.
“The key for us has been making sure that we can understand the customers extremely well,” Banazadeh stated.
The arrangement with NGA, for instance, lets Capella to however, the key for us has been making sure that we can understand the clients well”tell them exactly what we’re doing in a more formal manner,” Banazadeh stated. “In returnwe may have a frank conversation about requirements and get a better feeling of how we can modify our product line to fulfill them.”