Last month, we tracked the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix through the lens of satellite imagery. The prestigious event drew a ticketed crowd of over 40,000, with thousands more watching along the route. The population of Monaco more than doubles by race day.
A notoriously challenging course, Monaco holds the record for least number of cars to finish the race. The narrow track is punishing, with 19 tight turns and elevation changes that make passing nearly impossible. It’s also F1’s shortest track, clocking a little over two miles per lap and 78 laps to complete the race.
Construction and assembly of the track started weeks ahead of race day, but teams and crowds didn’t arrive until Thursday in anticipation of practice day Friday. After 2021’s reduced capacity of 7,500 attendees, this year’s race returned to a full capacity of 40,000 attendees.
Elevation changes play a huge factor in testing a driver’s skill on the Monaco track.
WHY FORMULA 1?
In February, Ursa Space closed our Series C funding led by Dorilton Ventures. To celebrate the closing, Williams Racing (owned by Dorilton Ventures) donned the Ursa Space Systems logo onto the wing mirrors of their F1 racing cars just in time for the season opener.
With this newfound connection to F1, Ursa wanted to showcase the power of our Virtual Constellation through satellite imagery and analytics surrounding the race. We partnered with Satellogic, ICEYE, 4DV Analytics, and E-Geos to glean insights like route elevation changes, spectator boat traffic, grandstand heat maps, and change detection.
OPTICAL VIEW OF CIRCUIT DE MONACO FROM SATELLOGIC
Before the crews and crowds arrived in Monaco, Satellogic captured this image on May 16, 2022 – showing a crystal clear scene of the soon to be bustling raceway and neighboring port. Satellogic’s high-frequency satellite constellation offers consistent collection for enhanced monitoring and change detection.
TWO COLOR MULTIVIEW AGAINST IMAGERY FROM E-GEOS
Here, we’re tracking boat traffic changes in the port near Monaco on days leading up to the 2021 race. Using two color multiview with SAR imagery from E-Geos we can see hotspots of action. Brightly hued areas indicate the most amount of movement.
Two Color Multiview is a tool used to visualize change in a certain location by comparing two SAR images taken at two different times. Red indicates a departure, while blue denotes an arrival.
SPOTLIGHT EXTENDED AREA FROM ICEYE
Here’s the raceway in full swing with imagery from ICEYE’s Spotlight Extended Area (SLEA) SAR imaging. At one meter resolution, SLEA is uniquely suited to capture larger area coverage than typical systems at this resolution.
4DV ANALYTICS SHOWS INFLUX OF SPECTATORS
We built an interactive dashboard around data provided by 4DV Analytics – correlating an index of consumer activity to the Monaco raceway, showing us the dramatic rise in attendees as race day drew nearer. Explore the dashboard to see elevation changes, airport activity levels, and Monaco’s jump in attendees during race weekend.