Payam Banazadeh, CEO of Capella Space, is using old technology in a new and innovative way to offer views of the Earth regardless of available light and obstructions caused by weather. He launched Capella Space in 2016 to offer imagery of the Earth anywhere in the world at any time using Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR). SAR is a form of radar that creates high resolution imaging and was used to map the surface of the Earth and other planets. It was invented in 1951 by a mathematician, Carl A Wiley. He worked for the then Goodyear Aircraft company.
Goodyear Aircraft later became Goodyear Aerospace and during the 50s and 60s advanced the SAR technology. In order to make SAR technology fully cover the Earth, Payam Banazadeh proposed using a whole constellation of satellites. The disappearance of Malaysia Airline Flight 370 in 2014 bespoke the need for technology to prevent it from happening again. At the time Payam Banazadeh was pursuing his Masters at Stanford. His greater insight into developing this project was gained through his education from the University of Texas earning his BS in Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical engineering. Professionally, he worked for NASA, first as a mission formulation intern at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and after several other roles, he became Lead Project Systems Engineer. Through this work, Payam Banazadeh learned how the space agency managed complex satellite systems and handled their deployment.
Payam Banazadeh created Capella Space, the first US commercial SAR technology provider. After finishing a Stanford program designed to use Silicon Valley innovation to solve national security problems, his vision for real time world weather observation became a reachable goal. In 2017, using miniature satellite components for high resolution SAR, smaller and lighter and at a fraction of the cost of previous satellites, Denali was created for data sampling. Its first launch was in 2018. In 2019, Capella Space began to find out customer requirements and feedback to develop SAR products and services. Capella next launched Capella 2 in 2020, and in 2021, it began to develop and manufacture its constellation of SAR satellites. It has officially begun commercial operations and world class reliable information for better decision making. What’s next in his future will affect what’s next for the Earth.