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Umbra emerges from stealth mode with plans to offer 25-centimeter radar at optical imagery prices

21 Oct 2019, 15:00 UTC
Umbra emerges from stealth mode with plans to offer 25-centimeter radar at optical imagery prices
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SAN FRANCISCO — After years of secrecy, Umbra Lab is revealing details of its plan to launch a constellation of 50-kilogram synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites to capture imagery with a resolution of 25 centimeters.
“We are beginning to open up at this point because [competitors] have made their various trades, selected their technical path and business plan,” said David Langan, Umbra CEO and co-founder. “It’s fine for us to open up a little bit and show our path to a high performance microsatellite.”
After completing testing and qualification of hardware including ten square meter deployable parabolic antennas, Umbra has set its sights on sending its first satellite into orbit in 2020.
“We don’t quote launch dates because there are many factors,” said Langan, a systems engineer, who worked for nearly a decade on space antennas and space-based radars at companies that were acquired by Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems. “I will say, the first satellites will be complete next year and there are plenty launch opportunities in 2020.”
Since it was founded in 2015 by longtime friends Langan and Gabe Dominocielo, an entrepreneur, Umbra has shied away from publicity. Some information has trickled out. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric ...

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