Case study

Go beyond the tip of the iceberg. With the tip and cue technique.

Capturing a cloud-free view of the world’s third-largest iceberg.

Extreme weather conditions mean it’s difficult to capture useable, cloud-free satellite imagery. This is particularly problematic for maritime surveillance and environmental monitoring in remote maritime locations, where it’s crucial for you to catch rare or unexpected events and track them as they develop.

Our virtual constellation ensures a very high revisit capacity. Our numerous sensors pass over the same area very often, which counteracts the difficulty of acquiring cloud-free imagery in locations with extreme weather conditions and high cloud-cover. Using an accurate, cost-effective technique called tipping and cueing, we help you get accurate, high-resolution imagery of the right place at the right time.

We launched a campaign to monitor Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf, and the A-68 iceberg that calved there, using our satellites Deimos-1 and Deimos-2 in tandem. Using the efficient tipping and cueing technique, Deimos-1 first captured a medium-resolution image of the whole iceberg before Deimos-2 took detailed, very-high resolution images of the rift.

An iceberg the size of Manhattan.

First, we used our medium-resolution satellite Deimos-1 to spot the A-68 iceberg and capture all 5,800 square metres of it – an area larger than Manhattan.

Getting the measure of the berg.

Once we’d identified the exact location of the berg, we captured it using ourx very-high-resolution satellite, Deimos-2. With these detailed images we could accurately measure the size of the rift and calculate the iceberg’s exact dimensions.

Reaching the unreachable.

The long winter nights and extreme weather conditions means it can be very difficult to get cloud-free, visible-light images of Antarctica.

Capturing cloud-free images.

In areas like this, the only way to take clear satellite images is to keep on trying. Luckily, Deimos-1 and Deimos-2 have a high revisit frequency so they can pass over the same area to take another image very quickly.

Tracking the future.

Glaciologists predict the iceberg will break into smaller chunks as it floats northeast into the Southern Ocean. Regular satellite monitoring could be used to plot the trajectory of A-68 and other icebergs like it.

Achieve cloud-free coverage.

Our network of satellites revisit the same locations frequently, giving you more opportunities to capture cloud-free images.

Track changes.

We can image any place on Earth with very high-revisit frequency: perfect for detecting suspicious activity, identifying vessels and monitoring changes.

Focus on the areas that interest you.

To help you get more insight for your budget, we use medium-resolution imagery to detect areas to investigate before we ‘zoom in’ with our high-resolution satellites.