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New BlackSky satellites captures sub-metre images over South Africa within 58 hours of launch

Press Release 17 Aug 2020 - 23:48 SAST

New BlackSky satellites captures sub-metre images over South Africa within 58 hours of launch

Press Release 17 Aug 2020 - 23:48 SAST

Information from BlackSky

BlackSky, a provider of global monitoring services, geospatial intelligence and satellite imagery, has completed initial system checkouts and has begun delivering imagery from its fifth and sixth satellites 58 hours after launch. Analytics offered by the company’s Spectra AI platform provides customers with immediate insights.

The first three port images were collected in rapid succession over Port Elizabeth, South Africa, on 10 August 2020 at 11:31 am local time. By analysing these images, the company is able to extract critical economic and financial indicators to offer a near-real-time view of commercial activity in Port Elizabeth.

Spectra AI can count the number of container stacks in the container yard, identify the container and bulk carrier ships currently berthed, count the number of vehicles awaiting export in the car terminal, track ground vehicle movements, and even determine which cargo holds are actively being loaded. With the increasing revisit rates offered by the BlackSky Global constellation and the advanced automation capabilities enabled by Spectra AI, economic activity is revealed at high speed.

BlackSky’s latest two satellites were launched into an inclined orbit at 1:12 a.m. EDT on August 7 via SpaceX’s Starlink mission. The addition of these satellites to the company’s constellation increases opportunities for intraday observation of targets and reduces decision-making timelines. The satellites provide panchromatic and colour imagery with sub-metre resolution. The company now has six satellites on orbit and plans to launch six additional satellites by the end of Q1 2021.