Photo credit: Capella Space
In addition to being able to image through extreme weather events, clouds, volcanic ash and other atmospheric conditions, Capella Space’s synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite can apparently peer into the walls of some buildings as well. How? The satellite transmits a 9.65GHz radio signal down to the target and then collects the returning signals to create an image of what is there.
At the 9.65GHz radio signal frequency, the clouds are nearly transparent. This is important because this signal penetrates clouds, fog, moisture, smoke, haze, and since you’re generating your own signal, it’s akin to carrying a flashlight – it doesn’t matter if it’s day or night. This technology enables the satellite to see through the walls of some buildings, revealing their floor plan or possibly even the contents inside.
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Every object will reflect differently. Water will scatter away energy and appear dark in SAR imagery. Metallic surfaces shine brightly. One of the most unintuitive artifacts in SAR is the Layover Effect, where taller objects, such as mountains or skyscrapers, appear to layover onto others. As you can see in Tokyo, the skyscrapers of Chiyoda City are most distinguishable at their uppermost sections.” said the company.