Ursa Space Systems is a satellite intelligence company that provides business and government decision makers access to on-demand analytic solutions, using synthetic aperture radar (SAR). The company utilizes a constellation of radar satellites to detect real-time changes in the world, and combines it with terrestrial-based data from various sources to deliver analytic-based insights for their customers. Ursa purchases imagery from other companies and does not have any of its own satellites. Features of the Ursa Space Systems platform include a rapid response alert system, easy-to-use-interfaces, and secure API access.The customer base is 75% commercial, with users that include oil and gas companies, customers with global supply chains, and financial institutions .
Ursa Space Systems was founded in 2014 by Adam Maher, Derek Edinger, and Julie Baker. Ursa had humble beginnings in the basement of Maher, and the initial vision was to create small physical satellites but later shifted toward the SAR-analytics-as-a-service platform.
- Maritime activity
- Ground/air transportation
- Land management & infrastructure
- Energy and natural resources
- Weather events and natural disasters
- Military and geopolitical activity
- Supply chain/property risk management
- Financial services
In 2017, in to assist with the category 4 hurricane that hit Texas and Louisiana, Ursa Space quickly created a flood monitoring capability. This service was offered free to first responders. Ursa uses SAR imagery, which is useful during weather events because imagery is not hampered by clouds or darkness.
In 2020, Ursa Space Systems began using satellites to study the impact of the global pandemic on oil industries outside the US where public data is not otherwise available. The company is also tracking activity at the Wuhan North railway station (the main freight train stop in the Chinese city where the virus was first detected in 2019) and a Nissan plant in Japan, to analyze the economic impact on the pandemic.
In July of 2020, Mauritius, an island nation off the southeast coast of Africa, experienced a tragedy when a bulk carrier, MV Wakashio, loaded with over one million gallons of heavy engine oil, ran into a coral reef in a nature park area. The Ursa team monitored the size and location of the resultant oil slick using satellite-based synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and AIS maritime data.
From Imagery to Insights: The Commercial Case for Geospatial Intelligence
Documentaries, videos and podcasts
SAR 101 with URSA's Daniela Moody
September 11, 2020
Video: What the Impact of Coronavirus Looks Like From Space
March 4, 2020