Maxar is looking for customers who want to downlink satellite imagery from mobile terminals in the field

Maxar is aiming to acquire clients for its mobile terminals, which provide customers direct access to the commercial imaging satellites, while the demand for satellite imagery remains high. Maxar, which is a supplier of Earth-imaging as well as space infrastructure services, is developing a “mobile access terminal” that military forces might use in the field to download electro-optical imagery from the company’s satellites, as well as radar imagery from MDA’s Radarsat-2 and other commercial satellites.

“A lot of times we don’t have a lot of extra capacity,” Jablonsky said in an interview at the Space Symposium which was held in Colorado Springs last week. “However, we worked with a few of our other clients to be able to provide surge capacity for the US and allies,” he explained. Every day, the firm receives roughly 200 requests for imagery from news organizations.

Before Russia’s incursion, Maxar and other commercial photography businesses have been tracking troop movements with US intelligence agencies and ally nations, as well as supplying imagery to aid humanitarian efforts.

Since the crisis began, Maxar’s main customers, the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), have more than doubled their purchases of commercial electro-optical imagery over Ukraine.

“Till we get the Legions launched,” Jablonsky added, the capacity crisis will be an issue.

“We’re getting very strong demand signals, for instance, for downlinking, uplinking, and tasking in theater,” Maxar president and CEO Daniel Jablonsky said during the company’s first-quarter 2022 earnings call on May 9. “We believe that will be another development vector for us,” he explained.

Last month, Maxar demonstrated tactical access hardware at the GEOINT 2022 symposium which was held in Aurora, Colorado. A Safran satellite antenna was on exhibit, together with a tiny reception terminal for downlinking and data analysis.

The technology is intended for customers, mainly military and intelligence groups, who must operate in remote regions and require on-demand access to satellites to detect and monitor targets or troop movements, according to a spokesperson. It’s also sold to groups that help those in need and give disaster aid.

Maxar now has 4 imaging satellites in orbit that service the US government as well as other clients, and demand has increased as a result of the Ukraine conflict. Six additional WorldView Legion spacecraft are being built by the business, but their launch is still being delayed owing to logistical and supply chain issues. During the earnings call, Jablonsky stated that the very first two Legions will now be released in September.

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