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HawkEye 360’s Inaugural Satellite Cluster “Pathfinder” Turns Five Years Old

By Eric Van Rees - 5th December 2023 - 07:39

HawkEye 360, a defense technology company for space-based radio frequency (RF) data and analytics, is celebrating its inaugural satellite launch five years ago.

The three Pathfinder satellites launched on December 3, 2018, aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket out of Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The mission pioneered using formation-flying satellites to offer commercial space-based RF detection over a broad range of frequencies.

“HawkEye 360 was the first to deliver this type of commercial data, and we continue to lead the market in RF data and analytics,” said HawkEye 360 CEO John Serafini. “As we celebrate, I’m grateful to our dedicated employees, partners, investors, and customers who have made these achievements possible. Together, we are making the world a safer and more secure place.”

UTIAS Space Flight Laboratory manufactured the satellites and remains an important technology partner. The Pathfinder satellites continue to collect data and independently pinpoint the geographical origin of RF signals – shedding light on previously undetected activities and unlocking new insights for humanitarian, environmental, defense, and national security applications. Given that HawkEye 360’s Pathfinder mission brought a new source of RF information to market, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum will place a model Pathfinder satellite on permanent display in the renovated galleries expected to open in 2026.

“The successful launch of our Pathfinder satellites marked a major milestone in our pursuit of becoming the world's premier commercial RF intelligence provider,” said HawkEye 360 VP of Space Lorin Metzger. “Today, as we mark the fifth anniversary of that successful launch, it’s amazing to reflect on all the accomplishments that we've achieved. With 21 satellites on orbit today, we can provide high accuracy, low latency RF intelligence to our global customers.”

Read More: Satellite Positioning Aerospace Defence

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