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Introduction

Umbra's satellite is designed for high-bandwidth, high-throughput imaging. This guide walks through the design specifications and explains how they relate to overall system performance.

Dimensions and Power

Umbra's satellite is lightweight, stows in a small form factor, and yet still manages to produce a large amount of power while deploying a large antenna to capture its radar return.


While stowed, the satellite can easily fit on an ESPA ring making it ideal for ridesharing missions and reducing the cost to launch significantly. But once fully deployed, its superior bandwidth, antenna size, and antenna efficiency enable industry-leading resolution while maintaining an excellent signal-to-noise ratio.

  • Radar Antenna Size: 10m² once fully deployed 

  • Radar Bandwidth: 1,200 MHz

  • Radar Power: >500w peak power

  • Mass: ~70kg

  • Launch Volume: Sub-ESPA


Orbital Characteristics

Umbra's first satellite launched aboard the SpaceX Transporter-2 rideshare mission on June 30th, 2020.

  • Altitude: 450 - 600km

  • Inclination: 97.4 degrees (polar orbit)

  • Nominal Orbital Height: 560km

  • Ground Track Repeat: 2 weeks


Collection Capability & Revisit Rate

Umbra's satellites are extremely "agile," meaning they are not statically positioned to look perpendicular to the flight path but are capable of "squinting" forwards and backwards along the flight path for greater visibility. This agility, combined with the power generation and antenna characteristics of the satellite architecture, equate to a large collection volume per satellite. 


Look Geometry:

  • Squint Angle: 45º to 135º

  • Grazing Angle: 20º to 70º

  • Look Direction: Left or Right

Polarization: HH or VV per collect

Ground Range: 170 - 1100km on either side of flight path

Polar Orbit Mean Revisit by Latitude (per satellite):

  • ±0º to 30º | 9.25 Hr

  • ±30º to ±50º | 7 Hr

  • ±50º to 67º | 4.5 Hr

  • ±67º to ±90º |  2 Hr