Satellite startup ICEYE is riding a wave of success this year. Just days after its launch, the company got back its first image from ICEYE-X2, its second satellite. The company gave CNBC an exclusive look at the image on Monday.
The first ICEYE-X2 image shows the mountainous areas of Spain's Basque Country at night. Forest, roads and agriculture are visible in the image, which contains over 500 square kilometers, captured at a resolution of 3 by 3 meters. That's the expected, medium resolution for a high-powered satellite, but ICEYE packed that power into a suitcase-sized satellite. The X2 satellite was launched by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket last week on the record-breaking "SmallSat Express" mission for Spaceflight Industries.
ICEYE is combining a special type of earth observation technology — SAR, short for synthetic aperture radar — with a small, inexpensive satellite. SAR allows a satellite to provide images at any time, even at night or through cloud cover.