June 29th, 2018
Q. What is the status of the ICEYE-X1 Mission?
A. Following the successful completion of the goals of the mission, ICEYE has concluded operations involving the ICEYE-X1 spacecraft.
In addition to successfully demonstrating the world’s smallest Synthetic Aperture Radar instrument in orbit with hundreds of images, ICEYE has identified a large number of improvements for future missions. These relate to items such as component choices, subsystem interfacing, flight software code, ground operations procedures, communication links, thermal performance of the system, and optimization of power management.
Q. What will happen to the ICEYE-X1 satellite?
A. At the conclusion of the mission, the spacecraft is to be registered by ICEYE announcement as no longer functional in the international register of space objects. As the first instrument demonstrator, the ICEYE-X1 spacecraft was not equipped with active propulsion, so it will deorbit naturally over the course of approximately 10 years and finally burn in the atmosphere. ICEYE takes mitigation of orbital debris very seriously. All the following satellites from ICEYE are equipped with propulsion units which enable active deorbiting at the end of mission. In addition to this, the operational orbits for the ICEYE satellite constellation will be on lower altitudes, where the natural deorbiting period is targeted to be only months instead of years.
Q. What is the impact of the ICEYE-X1 mission?
A. The impact of the mission is extremely positive for ICEYE and for the industry. In addition to massively accelerating ICEYE's technology development, the proof of technology has been a significant stepping stone. It has enabled ICEYE to further develop relationships with customers and it has helped the company secure the necessary funding to deploy the world's largest SAR satellite constellation by the end of 2019.
Q. What's next?
A. ICEYE has secured the necessary funding to create the world's largest SAR satellite constellation by the end of next year. You should expect a ramp-up of satellite launches from ICEYE, with each consecutive satellite unit bringing further improvements on our SAR instrument and ICEYE satellites as complete systems. The team is now fully devoted to delivering the improved ICEYE-X2 and our following satellites.