Skybox Imaging is an innovative information and analytics company that has developed and launched two of its 24 planned microsatellites that capture sub-meter imagery and full motion commercial video for an on-demand view of the world. Skybox’s high resolution, multispectral imagery and analytics are affordable, accessible and delivered in a timely manner for all types of industries and applications. Skybox Imaging has entered into an agreement to be acquired by Google on August 1 2014.
The Skybox approach to timely, sub-meter imagery lies at the convergence of Silicon Valley ingenuity and world-class aerospace expertise. While they are building, designing, and operating their own fleet of high-performance imaging satellites, its really all about the data platform. Imaging satellites generate vast amounts of data, and require an Internet-scale data approach to unlock their full potential.
Instead of using traditional relational database management systems, Skybox uses open source technologies and are pioneering the use of Apache Hadoop for tasking, storing, and analyzing large quantities of satellite imagery and derived data.
Skybox has developed a custom framework, called BusBoy, capable of running scientific computing algorithms written in C or C++ as Java tasks within Hadoop. This framework enables rapid production deployment of future algorithms against Skybox data, and is already used extensively by the Skybox team to develop advanced satellite imagery processing tools.
Skybox believes collected data is critical to informed decision-making, it is only one part of a mosaic of complicated data sets. It is a crucial data piece in the larger puzzle of understanding the world. We all win when more data plays together — so we designed our data platform to be completely sensor agnostic.
We look forward to many more launched satellites, and hope that this very bold and high risk effort remains as hardened as some of the older generation satellites in space.