Credit: Umbra

Umbra is a California based startup founded in 2015 by David Langan and Gabe Dominocielo. Umbra’s micro-satellites are equipped with a powerful Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) payload, capable of seeing both day and night and through dense clouds to generate the highest-resolution radar images ever sold on the commercial market. The first satellite, Umbra-SAR 2001, was launched in June, 2021 and was designed to capture snapshot imagery with a resolution of 25 centimeters over a 16 square km area. In January 2022 Umbra was selected by the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) for the first Focus Area, Commercial Radar, under the agency’s new Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for Strategic Commercial Enhancements effort. The NRO selected also other commercial radar imagery providers, like Capella Space and ICEYE. In October, 2022 DARPA selected Umbra to join the Distributed Radar Image Formation Technology (DRIFT) Program. The program uses commercially developed satellites to support government goals with a focus on formation flying and joint collection from small SAR satellites to collect synchronized monostatic and bistatic data.

Umbra-SAR satellites info

Nation: USA
Company/operator: Umbra
Platform/configuration: Umbra-SAR
  • 65 kg (Umbra-SAR 2001)
  • 522 km - 535 km (Umbra-SAR 2001)
Inclination: 97,4 degrees (polar orbit)
  • X-band SAR
Antenna size: 11,3 m²
Purpose: Earth monitoring
Launch vehicles:
  • Falcon 9



Umbra-SAR satellites launch overview

Flight no. Date launch Rocket Launch base Orbit Satellites launched Mission succes?
1 30/06/2021

Cape Canaveral (USA) 500 km 1 (Umbra-SAR 2001)


2 13/01/2022

Cape Canaveral (USA) 500 km 1 (Umbra-SAR 02)


3 25/05/2022

Cape Canaveral (USA) 500 km 1 (Umbra-SAR 03)


4 03/01/2023

Cape Canaveral (USA) 500 km 2 (Umbra-SAR 04 & 05)


5 11/11/2023

Vandenberg Air Force Base (USA) 500 km 2 (Umbra-SAR 07 & 08)


Umbra-SAR data sample (15cm resolution)

Umbra-SAR data

Umbra-SAR data

Images: Umbra

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Kris Christiaens

This article was published by FutureSpaceFlight founder and chief editor Kris Christiaens. Kris Christiaens has been passionate and fascinated by spaceflight and space exploration all his life and has written hundreds of articles on space projects, the commercial space industry and space missions over the past 20 years for magazines, books and websites. In late 2021, he founded the website FutureSpaceFlight with the goal of promoting new space companies and commercial space projects and compiling news of these start-ups and companies on one website.