Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) has signed an agreement with the Philippines’ Department of Science and Technology-Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI) to provide a share of the ‘tasking and data acquisition services’ from NovaSAR-1 — the small S-Band radar satellite launched into a 580km sun-synchronous orbit in September 2018.
The agreement gives DOST-ASTI ‘tasking priorities’ over the Philippines and the ability to access the raw data directly from the satellite, with a licence to use and share the data with their partners over an initial five-year period, extendable to the actual lifespan of the satellite.
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) can image the Earth through cloud cover and at night, and DOST-ASTI will use data from NovaSAR-1 in support of a number of applications; these include disaster monitoring, agricultural and forestry management, and coastal and maritime applications such as ship detection.
Andrew Cawthorne, director of Earth observation at SSTL (www.sstl.co.uk
), said “I am delighted to welcome DOST-ASTI colleagues to the NovaSAR-1 data team.
“I anticipate that the Philippines will benefit greatly from NovaSAR-1 data, particularly as the country has a tropical climate with frequent cloud cover, plus an extensive coastline and maritime territory.”
Joel Marciano, acting director of DOST-ASTI, said: “The SAR imaging capability of NovaSAR-1 is a timely and powerful
resource, as we continue to push scientific data, computing and space technology in support of evidence-based politics and decision-making in our country.”
NovaSAR-1 was designed and manufactured at SSTL, with an S-Band payload developed by Airbus Defence and Space
in Portsmouth (UK), and an Automatic Identification Receiver supplied by Honeywell Aerospace.
The SAR payload has a dedicated maritime mode designed with a very wide swath area of 400km, to enable the monitoring of the marine environment; it will provide direct-radar ship detection information simultaneously with AIS ship-tracking data to assist with the identification and tracking of sea-going vessels.
NovaSAR-1 is owned and operated by SSTL.