The ICEYE satellite, purchased with money raised by Ukrainians, detected more than 60 units of enemy military equipment during its first two days of operation. Russian troops lost armored vehicles worth more than the cost of the entire satellite project.
“During the first two days of the satellite’s operation, more than 60 units of military equipment were detected, which the Russians tried to disguise in forest strips and other obstacles. It was found because ICEYE satellites collect information using the Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) technology. Such equipment would be difficult or impossible to detect by optical satellites,” Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov reported on his Facebook page on Sept. 29.
He emphasized that the Ukrainian Armed Forces have been receiving a stream of data from ICEYE satellites for some time. The images are directly deciphered and processed by military intelligence specialists of the Ministry of Defense who have undergone appropriate training.
Ukraine got the opportunity to combine optical satellite data from partners and SAR data. It fundamentally increases our ability to detect and inflict damage on Russian occupiers.
Satellites with SAR technology become especially relevant in autumn and winter when the weather is bad, cloudy, or snowy. Systematic monitoring of the main areas of hostilities in the south and east is carried out. The information flows from analysts to combat units very quickly. It will be more difficult for the Russian occupiers to hide their intentions, further complicating their logistics.
“This is a real contribution to strengthening Ukraine’s defense thanks to technological advantage. After all, the Russian troops do not have such capabilities,” Reznikov said.
On June 24, volunteer Serhiy Prytula reported that in three days, Ukrainians collected 600 million hryvnias ($16.3 million) through donations.
The 600 million hryvnias was earmarked for four Bayraktar TB2 drones. “Moved by solidarity and determination,” Baykar, the Turkish defense company that produces the drones, said it would give the Ukrainians three free of charge.
On June 18, Prytula reported that the money collected for a Bayraktar, which Ukraine ultimately received for free, was spent on the satellite. The ICEYE company will provide the government of Ukraine with all the capabilities of one of its search and rescue satellites, which are already in orbit. ICEYE will operate the SAR satellite. In addition, ICEYE will provide access to its group of SAR satellites, allowing the Armed Forces of Ukraine to receive radar satellite images of critical locations with a high frequency of overflights.
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