Skysat-1 Satellite, about the Size of a Mini-Fridge, Captures First HD Video of Earth

By: | March 30th, 2014

Satellites today are capable of taking imagery better than a meter in resolution, but they weigh thousands of kilograms.

San Francisco firm Skybox Imaging has released the first footage from a revolutionary satellite. SkySat-1 is a small wonder. It is 20 times smaller than traditional satellites and weighs only about 200 pounds. The circuitry that drives it is about the size of a phone book and consumes less power than a 100w light bulb.

Recently, this revolutionary remote sensing satellite captured its first HD resolution video of Earth. It is efficient enough to capture up to 90-second video clips at 30 frames per second.

It’s just like viewing live Google Maps. We all use Google Earth, but we can only see static satellite imagery through it. However, Skybox Imaging allows us to see it moving with its orbital streaming video service.

The footage taken from 600 kilometers above Earth by the SkySat-1 satellite has been released by the firm. The footage reveals Tokyo, Bangkok, Baltimore, Las Vegas and Syria in HD. It shows moving cars, vessel traveling through shipping lanes and planes landing at Beijing airport. The clarity is beautiful – you can even identify the individual planes.

The firm is now planning a constellation of 24 satellites that will be able to cover the entire Earth. Its larger goal is to sell the footage to businesses in the near future.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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