A space satellite agency in the United States is converting our planet-viewing equipment and they are removing obstacles to them, including the walls. Currently orbiting the Earth at 7.5 kilometers per second, the Capella-2 satellite in Capella Space is capable of enabling the world’s highest resolution synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) satellite and anything visible from the sky with a resolution of only 50 cm x 50 centimeters.
What makes this satellite even more special is exactly how the radar penetrates. A lot of signals from your cell phone can enter through walls, even in certain situations such as SAR technology. The images produced to create a wonderful landscape of the ‘ghost’ building that allows users of satellite imagery to gain 3D insights into the field of question and the same technology allows Capella-2 to see directly through the clouds. A clear day is needed; SAR satellites can run without relying on good weather.
While a laser-vision satellite may seem like a privacy nightmare, it is important to note that SAR does not allow agencies to image the interior of the building. Since the technology was unveiled, many have claimed that Capella-2 could be used to spy on people behind closed doors, but this is unfounded – although it can pass through radar walls, Capella claims that the waves are too weak for the image.
However, this fact does not preclude SAR from using global surveillance. Capella Space is moving forward with plans to place enough satellites to provide hourly coverage anywhere on Earth’s surface, a feat that could dramatically change the satellite image. The satellite agency claims that such coverage will enable it to respond to crises more informally, faster and better.
“One of the most recent developments in the United States is the millions of acres of land on the west coast of the United States that have been devastated by wildfires and have completely emptied one-third of our country into dangerous opaque smoke,” said CEO and founder Payam in a statement.
“We can’t make good decisions if we don’t see what’s going on around us. SAR allows us, our first responders, our policymakers, and the world to see. It is critical. ”
So how does a SAR satellite work? Like other radar technologies, SAR transmits pulses of radio waves to the desired region and stops bouncing, creating an echo that can be detected upon its return. The echoes are then sewn together by software to create an image. The use of SAR for Earth imagery is not exclusive to Capella, but similar radars were used on many separate spacecraft, including the Space Shuttle Antivirus, although Capella-2 is currently the clear leader in high-resolution imaging.
Now, Capella is releasing a new product called Spotlight, in which customers can pay for access to long-exposure shots of specific areas of interest. These images are captured for 60 seconds, creating a final level of detail that is of interest to both scientists and the military. Fortunately, the product is not available to everyone – the verification process is done by requesting an image of a person.
With the ability to observe the entire planet every hour, it is easy to see why the satellite has thrown out privacy concerns. Controversy has already spread across 2019 and 2020 for the use of face recognition and surveillance technology as it only adds fuel to the fire. Despite the concerns, Capella continues to move forward with the technology, claiming that it will not be used for malicious applications and will instead become a good force.