CSIRO is a leading partner in the Synthetic Aperture Radar satellite that was launched in September. It’s first images sent back to Earth included the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, photographed at night in eerie black and white images. Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) and Airbus designed the special cameras which will be used to make images across Australia. The resolution of the pictures is fairly coarse at six metres, but the imaging technology has unique advantages of tracking objects closely as they move across the surface of the Earth.
The CTO of SSTL said, “What interests me most in this picture are the boats. NovaSAR is seeing not only large vessels but also much smaller pleasure craft. We can’t see the shape of them, but we can certainly see that they are there. And that’s encouraging because one of the main objectives of NovSAR will be maritime surveillance.” So, if you’re out on Sydney Harbour for New Year’s Eve, smile and wave up towards the sky. NovaSAR is watching!
This story is featured in the 30 November 2018 edition of The Warren Centre’s Prototype newsletter. Sign up for the Prototype here.