Earth imaging startup Iceye so far has 10 radar satellites in orbit, which provide its customers with views of the planet’s surface without having to worry about clouds or lack of sunlight obscuring the visuals. These images are valuable for applications ranging from disaster response to ship tracking, and the company’s shown off images with 1-meter resolution. 

On Monday, the company announced that it’s offering a new service to customers: wide-scan images, which enable views of 10,000 square kilometers. This enables monitoring of a wide area, which might then provide points of interest where a smaller, higher-resolution image might prove useful. 

“With a wide area covering a scene at 10,000 square kilometers at fairly low resolution, you can quite easily see ships, for example, in the maritime domain,” says Steve Young, the company’s VP of Business Development.

One particular application of this wide-scanning capability are situations like the recent blockage of the Suez canal, Young says, where the company’s satellites were able to get a wider view of how the area was impacted. “Every satellite company was taking images of that,” he says. ”We did as well, but we also did a big panorama of the whole thing end to end, so you could see how many ships were queuing at this end and how many were queuing at that end.”

CEO Rafal Modrzewski and CSO Pekka Laurila, alumni of the Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe list, founded Iceye in 2012. The two helped develop the technology underlying the company’s satellites while they were attending Aalto University, and the company launched its first satellite in 2018. The company’s so far raised nearly $150 million in venture capital.

In 2020, the company signed contracts with customers worth $50 million, ten times what it had signed in 2019, says Young. The average length of a contract is 2-3 years. In April, the company opened a spacecraft production facility in Irvine, CA, and announced that it had signed a contract with In-Q-Tel to develop capabilities for U.S. government applications. 

Over the next few years, the company plans to expand its capabilities, both in terms of launching more satellites, but also improving its software. For example, Young says, the company’s working on using AI to count and identify different types of vessels in one satellite view. 

“We are now beginning to deliver a capability that nobody has ever had in the world,” says Young. “And this is just the start of that for Iceye. There’s a whole bunch of other things to come.”