Finnish space technology startup ICEYE is set to launch its first radar-based microsatellites after acquiring funding of 2.5 million euros.
The capital boost comes from US-based True Ventures and Founder.org, as well as Finland’s Lifeline Ventures.
ICEYE is developing a service that can provide close to real-time information about space. By utilising a radar that can produce imaging regardless of weather conditions and also in the dark, the company has a considerable competitive advantage.
The technology and the service has already been demonstrated by taking images from an airplane. The next step is to build and launch a satellite, which will allow expansion of the information service to cover the entire Earth.
Governments and space organisations already harness radar satellites for the purpose of data collection in research and the military. ICEYE seeks to bring this technology to a commercially profitable price level.
“The information we offer allows, for example, ships to sail more efficiently and safely,” explains CEO Rafal Modrzewski, in an Aalto University press release. “The information enables monitoring of illegal fishing or illicit oil discharges and providing support in disasters, for example, mapping floodwaters or the destruction caused by a storm.”
ICEYE originated from a course project at Aalto University in 2012. The spin-off company commenced operations this year, and is based in Otaniemi.
The company has also received an additional 1.7 million euros from Tekes in the form of a product development loan in the Arctic Seas programme.
The first satellite launch is set to take place in 2017.