BAE Systems plans to launch its own satellite cluster


Artist’s rendering of two Azalea satellites from BAE Systems.

BAE Systems will launch its own multi-sensor satellite cluster into low-earth orbit in 2024 to provide space-based data and real-time intelligence for military customers.

The group of satellites, known as Azalea, will have synthetic aperture optical radar and radio frequency sensors.

The collected data is analyzed onboard edge processors running machine learning software, meaning the data is not dependent on ground-based computing and is therefore available to users anywhere in the world.

The satellites will be software reconfigurable in orbit, which will extend their lifespan by allowing them to be upgraded.

BAE Systems will combine its expertise in sensor technology with Finnish company ICEYE’s SAR technology.

“We understand the importance of space-based intelligence to every field…” said Dave Armstrong, Group Managing Director of BAE Systems’ Digital Intelligence business. “The launch of Azalea in 2024 will be a major step forward for Britain’s sovereign space capability.”

“There is a clear benefit for governments and organizations in having accurate information when they need it, regardless of weather conditions – that’s what ICEYE brings,” said Rafal Modrzewski, CEO and co-founder of ICEYE.

“By combining our SAR technology with the security expertise of BAE Systems and the other data sources in the cluster, we can help decision makers make the right choice at the right time.”

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