- August 15, 2008
- Posted by: EARSC
- Category: EARSC News
The first German commercial satellite mission is on its way to space.
Brandenburg a. d. Havel, Germany 15.08.08. With all of the necessary components for the launch of the RapidEye satellite constellation currently waiting in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, nothing seems to be standing in the way of an August launch for the German company RapidEye AG
All five earth observation satellites will be sent into orbit on a DNEPR-1 launch vehicle, released into a shared orbit at 630km and will circle the globe 15 times daily. With the constellation designed with built-in redundancy and the use of high-technology sensors, RapidEye will be able to reliably deliver high-quality data from any point on earth every day. The space segment is supplemented by a satellite control center, processing and archiving systems. The collected imagery will be an integral part of providing important decision making tools for RapidEye’s customers in industries such as agriculture, forestry and cartography.
Everyone involved with the RapidEye mission has been waiting a long time for this announcement. We are happy to confirm that the planned launch date is August 29th at 9:15 a.m. Brandenburg time, remarked Wolfgang Biedermann, RapidEye’s CEO.
bq. We’ve been working diligently over the last 10 years to secure project financing, to realize the satellite constellation, while simultaneously producing a wide variety of services which our own satellite imagery can soon be integrated into. The combination of our frequent revisit capabilities, large area coverage, system reliability and the know-how of our international team members and partners will open up new possibilities in Management Information and Geo Information services. We wil be able to deliver imagery and services to our customers for crop planning, crop identification, and damage assessment following a natural disaster. We can expect the satellites to be commercially operational before the end of the year, which will be just as much of an important milestone for our company as the launch.
Canadian space specialists MDA (MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.), have been the most important partner in the development of the RapidEye satellite system. As RapidEye’s prime contractor, MDA has provided the acquisition planning and data pre-processing systems. They also perform all system engineering and program management tasks.
This is also an important moment for us as a company, says Steve Oldham, Vice President for Satellite Missions at MDA.
RapidEye is the first operational small satellite constellation developed by MDA. The development of the RapidEye constellation, including the ground planning and processing system, represents a breakthrough in offering world class data from a turn-key mission. We are proud to have worked with RapidEye to enable their mission.
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