The Korea Herald


Satrec Initiative aims to build world’s highest-resolution optical satellite

By Shim Woo-hyun

Published : Aug. 18, 2021 - 16:42

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A rendering of Satrec Initiative's satellite system (Satrec Initiative) A rendering of Satrec Initiative's satellite system (Satrec Initiative)

Satrec Initiative, a South Korean manufacturer of small- and medium-size observation satellites, will push for the development of an Earth mapping satellite with the world’s highest resolution imaging system, the firm said Wednesday.

Named SpaceEye-T, the envisioned aircraft is a 700-kilogram satellite designed to observe the Earth offering imagery with resolution as high as 30 centimeters per pixel, precise enough to verify car models on the ground.

The company plans to launch it by early 2024.

Satrec Initiative’s subsidiaries will be responsible for operation of the satellite after the launch. The company’s subsidiaries will also improve its self-developed artificial intelligence-based solution that can analyze satellite image data.

CEO Kim Ee-eul said the company plans to commercialize its satellite image solution in the future.

The project is the first undertaking since Hanwha Group, which has chosen space as one of its future growth sectors, made a strategic investment in the firm.

Hanwha Aerospace, the largest shareholder of Satrec Initiative, is expected to help commercialize Satrec Initiative’s solution.

The development of SpaceEye-T is Satrec Initiative’s first project after South Korea’s largest defense company Hanwha Aerospace announced earlier this year that it would invest around 1 trillion won ($855.5 million) to acquire 30 percent of its shares.

Hanwha Aerospace currently holds a 20 percent stake in Satrec Initiative and plans to acquire an additional 10 percent in the future.

Satrec Initiative was founded in 1999 by people who were part of the project that developed KITSAT-1, the first satellite to be launched for South Korea. Satrec Initiative has joined around 30 projects both here and abroad to date.