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New White Paper → Environmental Science & Management

In our new white paper, we highlight why rigorous environmental monitoring has never been more critical, and how SAR data and innovations can set the planet up for success.



Rising temperatures, droughts, food scarcity, and waning freshwater access — these environmental challenges often impact humans who are most vulnerable.

As people migrate to arid urban centers, issues like irrigation, drought, and flooding will remain top-of-mind for policymakers and corporations alike. Meanwhile, investors and activists have continued to place increasing pressure on companies and regulators to improve activities, measurements, and reporting; all of which can be supported by Earth Observation technology.

In our latest white paper, we take a closer look at key areas where SAR data can make a significant impact on environmental monitoring, from agriculture and resource extraction to the measurement and prediction of climate change symptoms.

Let's dig in ↓


Source Note: All white paper data and insights have been sourced from publicly available research via:, International Energy Agency, UN, IPCC, ESA, Zhou et al., BBC, C2ES, NOAA, Global Forest Watch, Gibson et al., Di Piola et al., Huang et al., The Guardian, Adeli et al., McKinsey Group, Liu et al., Ferrazzoli, Reuters, Remondiere, S. & Lichtenegger, J., McNairn et al., SpaceAlpha Insights.



It's becoming clear that increased collaboration between governments, businesses, and community stakeholders will be necessary for the success of environmental monitoring and planning efforts. As a result, geospatial data is expected to become all the more crucial to our understanding of the planet, its evolving systems, and its impact on humans and the environment. High-quality SAR data — thanks to its innate ability to image any time or day and below cloud and smoke — will continue to be instrumental.

"Interferometric synthetic aperture radar data have transformed earth science." —


Forest fires and climate change are inextricably linked. Rising temperatures are a pattern that has reached catastrophic levels across regions like California, and these dry conditions have led to increased fire activity. The ramifications for people and wildlife are immense and compounded, as forest fires have been significant contributors to global warming.

With SAR data, we detect and predict fires, thanks in part to the ability to collect data through the cloud, smoke, and darkness. With multiple bands working in tandem, SAR-XL data can provide heightened detection, tracking, and management of forest fires. Learn more →

"Wildfires release carbon dioxide and other pollutants into the atmosphere, exacerbating global warming, and in severe cases, irreparably damaging forest ecosystems." — Global Forest Watch


Sea level rise can be magnified by anthropogenic ground subsidence, as well as erosion, melting ice, and ocean thermal expansion. From California and Toyko to Bangkok, major cities and regions have established histories of extreme coastal subsidence due to groundwater over-pumping and resource extraction.

With SAR interferometry (inSAR), we can study and track how far coastal areas have depressed (subsided) down to the millimetre, allowing for better analysis, prediction, and measurement of coastal subsidence and its impact on coastal ecology and infrastructure. This land-movement data, when captured over time, can reveal long-term trends that would otherwise be imperceptible. Learn more →

" 2030, there will be an extra 25 countries experiencing increasing floods in addition to the 32 being impacted at present..." Dr. Telman, BBC


While access to space improves thanks to evolving launch technology, so too does our capacity to acquire superior Earth data and deliver it efficiently. The result? Improved environmental study and management, and ultimately a better understanding of the planet, our challenges, and ourselves.

SAR's ability to image through cloud, darkness and smoke — when combined with machine learning, artificial intelligence, and onboard processing innovations — provides us with a number of benefits including:

  • Reduced costs of maintenance and emergency response

  • Reduced costs of monitoring, analysis, and projection

  • Wide-scale monitoring of huge swaths of land and water

  • Time-series monitoring for tracking of melt rates, coastal subsidence, soil moisture, etc.

  • Millimetric detection of land elevation and area of interest change over time

  • Differential InSAR for surface deformation, landslides, tectonic activity, etc.

  • Complimentary data with optical satellite imagery and UAV data

  • Quicker insights thanks to rapid acquisition, processing, and information delivery

  • Daily monitoring for time-series accuracy

  • 24/7 collection regardless of cloud cover and lighting conditions

  • High-resolution, wide swath: < 0.4-m res / < 400km swath

  • X&L band data with simultaneous capture and delivery

  • Onboard processing for reduced post-processing and efficient data extraction

To learn more, be sure to grab our new paper →


SpaceAlpha Insights ("Alpha") is a Vancouver-based space company that's developing next-gen Earth Observation satellites for heightened geospatial intelligence. Alpha's SAR-XL satellites will deliver unprecedented global insights for missions related to environmental monitoring, security, logistics, and more.



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