Iceye, a provider of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite imaging, has introduced a new imaging mode called Dwell. This mode allows satellites to focus on a specific area for 25 seconds, providing more detailed and specialized imaging compared to Iceye’s traditional 10-second views.
The purpose of the Dwell imaging mode is to aid analysts in quickly differentiating between human-made objects (such as buildings and vehicles) and natural features like forests, fields, ice, and water. By analyzing the way microwave pulses reflect off objects, the algorithm can identify distinct patterns that indicate the presence of man-made structures. In contrast, natural features exhibit similar microwave reflections across a given area.
To visually highlight built objects in the Dwell imagery, Iceye uses bright colors. This enables analysts to easily identify and differentiate human-made structures from the surrounding environment.
The introduction of the Dwell imaging mode enhances Iceye’s SAR capabilities and provides valuable tools for various applications, including urban monitoring, infrastructure assessment, and surveillance.
Iceye recognizes the continued importance of human analysts in interpreting satellite imagery and aims to facilitate their work by making radar imagery more accessible to those without extensive experience in the field. The Dwell imaging mode, with its extended focus time of 25 seconds, not only enhances image quality and clarity but also allows both novice and experienced analysts to derive valuable insights from the data.
By focusing on an area for a longer duration, Dwell imagery can provide increased acuity and detail, enabling analysts to discern subtle features and patterns. This makes the mode beneficial for both analysts who are new to radar imagery and those with expertise in the field.
Dwell imaging is particularly useful for detecting objects hidden under foliage, such as tanks or equipment concealed by trees. The microwaves have a higher chance of penetrating the foliage and reflecting back from the hidden objects, providing valuable information for analysis.
John Cartwright, ICEYE’s data product head, highlighted that Dwell imagery will aid users in comprehending and characterizing ground activities and changes, regardless of lighting and weather conditions. By offering a comprehensive view of the monitored areas, Iceye’s Dwell mode enhances the understanding of various phenomena and facilitates effective decision-making processes.