A first for India, spacetech start-up GalaxEye Space has made its cutting-edge Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) available for use on its airborne drone satellite systems that are now under development. According to a statement released by the business on Tuesday, the device can undertake highly comprehensive and high-resolution all-weather imaging, even in wet or overcast situations.

Alongside reputable entities like the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the Bengaluru-based business is now the nation's first commercial enterprise to successfully develop and test SAR technology.

“We completed the testing of the SAR sensor in December last year. And since there was a lot of interest in this area, we eventually announced it for aerial drones. This is definitely one of the milestones towards the development of our own satellites,” Suyash Singh, Co-founder & CEO told Business Today.

GalaxEye received requests to create a SAR version for aerial mapping from a number of drone service companies. The technology may be used in a variety of industries, including insurance, surveillance, precision farming, property tax predictions, and utility monitoring such as gas pipelines and transmission lines. Typically, still or video cameras are used for this purpose by the majority of drone firms.

“Instead of testing the entire sensor stack in the orbit, the cost-effective and lightweight solution for the aerial platform will also allow us to assess its efficacy here. The next step is to put a space-grade version of this sensor on our satellites,” declared Singh.

The fusion technology, which was entirely created in-house, is intended to give previously unheard-of insights and data from space, giving satellite constellations the ability to undertake all-weather photography without succumbing to the atmospheric challenges that beset today's single-sensor satellites. It can provide extremely detailed photos using a small constellation of satellites that can provide 12-hour worldwide coverage.

“GalaxEye has been able to prove their capabilities in such a short period of time and that too with difficult technologies like SAR,” Sudheer Kumar, Director Capacity Building Office at ISRO, noted.

By the middle of 2024, the business hopes to launch Drishti Mission, the first and highest-resolution multi-sensor imaging satellite ever launched by India. It was founded at IIT-Madras and has signed business deals and strategic alliances with prestigious companies including US-based space software company Antaris, XDLINX Labs, Ananth Technologies, and Dassault Systèmes.