BlackSky Blog

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by | Aug 19, 2020

BlackSky satellites deliver first images within 58 hours of launch

Customers See the Power of AI Driven Analytics Instantly

Our fifth and sixth satellites launched into orbit on August 7 and began delivering imagery 58 hours after launch, which is unprecedented. Those satellites in conjunction with the advanced analytics offered by our Spectra AI platform, have allowed BlackSky to provide our customers with high velocity insights that were previously unattainable. In less than a week!

For more information see our press release.

The following images illustrate some of the automatic insights Spectra AI has delivered thus far. The great news for our customers is we’ll continue to modify our analytics to meet their specific needs, so they’ll always be the first to know. Economic and financial insights have never been faster.


Three images were collected in rapid succession over Port Elizabeth, South Africa, on August 10, 2020, at 11:31 a.m. local time. By analyzing these images, BlackSky is able to extract critical economic and financial indicators to offer a near-real-time view of commercial activity in Port Elizabeth. In particular, with the assistance of Spectra AI, BlackSky can count the number of container stacks in the container yard, identify the container and bulk carrier ships currently berthed, count the number of vehicles awaiting export in the car terminal, track ground vehicle movements, and even determine which cargo holds are actively being loaded. With the ever-increasing revisit rates offered by the BlackSky Global constellation and the advanced automation capabilities enabled by Spectra AI, economic activity is revealed at a velocity previously thought impossible.


BlackSky Global-6’s First Light image taken over Atlanta, Georgia, August 9, 2020 at 9:07 a.m. local time demonstrates the unique time diversity value offered by BlackSky’s constellation of high resolution, mid-inclination imaging smallsats.


A single ship (in yellow) approaches Grytviken in South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands at 5:25 p.m. local time on August 10, 2020, as captured by BlackSky-8. An image at this time of the day is achievable due to the specific inclined orbit of the BlackSky satellites. All ships entering Grytviken are required to pass a thorough COVID-19 screening process before entry is permitted.