A new Finnish microsatellite company, ICEYE, has announced that it has raised $13 million in a new round of funding.
In contrast to optical instruments on most Earth orbiting satellites that image the planet, ICEYE uses synthetic-aperture radar technology. Their satellites will use the motion of a radar antenna, combined with the time the device travels over a target, to create multi-dimensional images of the surface even through clouds. The "synthetic" part of the antenna is due to the fact that a small antenna moving over a large distance can create a large, synthetic aperture. The satellites are about the size of a mini-refrigerator.
In theory, a user could open a Web browser, select an area on Earth, and have the constellation image that area in near-real time.