Building microsatellites in Warsaw

Finnish space company ICEYE has recently launched its first international office and has chosen to do so in Warsaw. WBJ asked Robert Wagemann, Member of the Management Board for ICEYE Poland, why the leader in SAR technology has chosen Poland as the first stop in its expansion

WBJ: ICEYE is the leader in synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) technology for microsatellites. What exactly does that involve? What technologies is the company currently developing?

Robert Wagemann: ICEYE enables better decision-making in a wide variety of industries through synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) satellites and commercial access to satellite imagery. ICEYE has pursued miniaturized SAR technology specifically because of the ability to acquire satellite imagery regardless of clouds, weather or darkness. Optical systems are hindered from imaging the world about two-thirds of the time since that technology is restricted by weather and light; without sunlight illumination, optical systems do not cover industry needs sufficiently.
ICEYE is developing a global radar satellite imaging service, available at any time and with revisit times of just a few hours, to help clients resolve challenges in sectors such as maritime, disaster management, insurance, finance, and security and intelligence. In January 2018, ICEYE became the first organization in the world to successfully launch synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) microsatellites.

Why did ICEYE decide to open an office in Poland?

ICEYE is expanding rapidly on a global scale. Like Finland, Poland has a great amount of untapped aerospace potential in the talent available.

How is the cooperation with other Polish companies developing? In what areas of the space industry are Polish companies strong?

ICEYE approaches aerospace with a New Space model. This means many things, and in the case of ICEYE’s Poland operations, exploring off-the-shelf components (COTS) for hardware and other manufacturing partnerships show potential.

Do you think that Poland has a chance of developing a space tech cluster? Is there enough interest in the space industry here and enough financing to create a “critical mass”?

ICEYE is a forerunner in aerospace in Finland, and in Poland. We have good reason to believe that us pushing the critical mass forward is valuable for everyone involved.

Warsaw is the first office the company has launched outside Finland. What are the company’s further plans for Poland?

As ICEYE operations grow, we’re expanding our resources globally overall. Our Poland office is expected to deliver a growing amount of services and will house a Mission Operations Center to control communications with the satellite constellation. A customer service team will also be incorporated into the Poland office to provide technical assistance, access to information and image requests for clients.

 

Robert Wagemann
Member of the Management
Board for ICEYE Poland

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