Payam Banazadeh is one instrumental figure that ranks high whenever gauging the achievements of aerospace technology globally. He is the co-founder of Capella Space and serves as the CEO. Capella Space is primarily involved in satellite imaging. It uses Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), the central technology used in imaging the earth’s surface with no effects from either weather conditions or time of the day. This technology is different from the traditional optical satellites affected by weather conditions, such as clouds, and changing times of the day, since they cannot function at night.
Before founding Capella Space, Payam Banazadeh first graduated from the University of Texas, in Austin, with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering. From his exemplary performance in academics and leadership skills, he received a Texas Outstanding Scholar and Leader Award in 2012. Payam Banazadeh first gained practical skills during his internship at NASA. His supremacy in aerospace engineering earned him various promotions at NASA such that his time with NASA ended as a Lead Project System Engineer. After leaving NASA, Payam earned his graduate business degree from Stanford University, after which he founded Capella Space alongside William Woods.
The foundation of Capella Space was mainly inspired by the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. Payam Banazadeh and William Woods agreed that such a disappearance should not happen in the wake of modern technology. Capella Space, therefore, was geared towards the development of satellites capable of monitoring the earth while providing essential data based on observations. However, the previous failures of optical satellites at night and due to weather meant that Payam Banazadeh and his fellow founder could not rely on them. They opted for SAR technology as it enabled satellites to emit their light reflected on different surface objects. After reflection, the images are transmitted back to the satellite receivers. From his achievements, Payam Banazadeh was selected under the prestigious “Forbes 30 under 30 list” in 2017.