SEATTLE, June 16, 2015—BlackSky Global, a satellite imaging company, today revealed its plan to provide high-resolution images of the globe at an unparalleled cost and frequency. The company plans to deploy six satellites in 2016 and have a full 60-satellite imaging constellation by 2019, bringing “satellite imaging as a service” to those businesses, organizations and governments that cannot or do not wish to capitalize their own constellations.
Traditionally it takes days or weeks to receive a commercial satellite image due to limited imaging opportunities and priority constraints. With 60 satellites in unique orbits, BlackSky’s constellation will shorten this time to a couple hours or less, enabling customers to observe and monitor basic infrastructure across multiple industry sectors. BlackSky is developing a Web-scale software platform that will allow customers to request, receive and interact with its satellite imagery via the Internet.
“The launch of BlackSky Global marks a major leap forward in opening up access to images from space and enabling constant global awareness,” said Peter Wegner, BlackSky Global’s chief technology officer and former director of the U.S. Air Force Operationally Responsive Space Office. “By operating the infrastructure to view our planet in near real-time, we envision an open future where enhanced Earth observation leads to positive change and a better understanding of our world.”
BlackSky Global’s competitive pricing, rapid revisit rate and user experience will enable a new suite of businesses while supporting the growth of existing ones. The company follows a “pay-per-picture” business model and can capture images of single sites or larger areas, as well as provide video at a speed of one frame per second. It will offer its high-resolution imagery at less than $100 per 30-square-kilometer image, approximately one-tenth the cost of the current industry average. Existing customers include satellite imagery providers and data analytics companies looking for more “pixel capacity” to grow their revenues.
“Satellite-imaging constellations have historically been designed to provide very high-resolution, precise imagery, resulting in small numbers of relatively expensive satellites in orbits offering only one view per day of a given location,” Wegner said. “BlackSky Global will complement these existing service providers by placing its satellites in orbits capable of rapid revisit rates over 95 percent of the Earth’s populated area, providing persistent imaging capability.”
The company’s services will support a variety of applications across industries such as agriculture, forestry, civil government, non-governmental organizations, defense, finance, engineering, energy and others. Governments and organizations can leverage its imagery to monitor the worldwide environment, trends and the global economy which totals around $78 trillion annually. By offering more flexibility and capacity in commercial space imagery, its services also have applications for protecting U.S. national security and competitiveness in the commercialization of space.
BlackSky Global is fully funded to deploy its first six satellites by the end of 2016, with the first spacecraft currently undergoing final testing and checkout. For more information on BlackSky Global’s satellite imaging services, please visit www.blacksky.com.
About BlackSky Global
BlackSky Global is a new “satellite imaging as a service” provider aimed at commercializing access to high-performance satellite imagery. Through a planned 60-satellite constellation, the company will provide cost-effective, high-resolution, rapid-revisit satellite imagery capturing over 95 percent of the Earth’s populated area. By the end of 2019, BlackSky Global plans to orbit the largest fleet of imaging satellites in existence to provide an evolving infrastructure for understanding our world in near real-time. Founded in 2013, BlackSky Global is headquartered in Seattle. For more information, please visit www.blacksky.com and follow @BLACKSKY on Twitter.