With Testing Completed, RapidEye is “Open for Business”

Brandenburg/Havel, Germany, February 4, 2009 – RapidEye, the only geospatial solutions provider to own and operate their own satellite constellation, announced today that their system has successfully completed all post-launch testing and calibration activities, and is now ready to take on commercial operations.

The satellite constellation was successfully launched in August 2008. Since that time, RapidEye’s prime contractor, MDA (MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.) has been conducting the commissioning period on both the space and ground segment in which system performance and product quality were thoroughly measured, analyzed and verified.

“This is where MDA ‘hands us the keys’ to the system,” said Wolfgang Biedermann, CEO of RapidEye. “Not only can we begin selling our data products, but this is also the point where we can integrate our imagery into the services we’re currently working on. This milestone is as significant for us as the launch of the satellites. We have overcome a lot of obstacles to get here and if it weren’t for the talent and dedication of so many people from MDA, its subcontractors Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) and Jena-Optronik GmbH, and our own RapidEye specialists, this wouldn’t have been possible.”

“The agricultural growing season will be upon us very soon in the northern hemisphere, and we have ongoing projects in the southern hemisphere, so many of our customers will benefit from our products and services almost immediately,” comments Michael Prechtel, Head of Marketing and Sales for RapidEye. “We’ve also been looking forward to being able to use our own imagery for some of our current projects.”

Paulo E. Cruvinel, Researcher from EMBRAPA – Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation and Executive Coordinator of RIPA – Agribusiness Technological Innovation and Prospecting Network explains what impact the collaboration with RapidEye will have on their research program.

“EMBRAPA continuously invests in strategic areas to get transit on knowledge frontiers and new technologies generation. This effort seeks to its institutional architecture in order to achieve more agility and flexibility for better interacting with public and private innovation networks and proper respond to new demands of the agriculture growth. With RapidEye being fully operational, we can better support Government needs, implementing projects related to agrometeorologic risk management and to monitor the environmental dimensions of the sustainability in tropical agriculture.”

“We successfully started the pilot project with Rapideye and we expect that it helps us to make better assessments regarding what grows where, what is damaged and what is insured potentially improving the quality of our processes and generating cost reduction”, remarks Max Thiermann, President of Allianz Seguros S.A., Brazil.

Marie-Joseph Lambert, Director of Marketing & Sales at S2B, France, talks about the collaboration with RapidEye and future projects that will derive as RapidEye is now being operational. “We are proud to be associated with RapidEye and look forward to a long relationship that will produce a lot of valuable services for the farming community.”

Karl Murr, Head of Agricultural Risks at Munich Re, Germany, congratulates RapidEye to this important milestone. “It’s constellation of five earth observation satellites makes RapidEye the first geospatial service provider worldwide able to reliably deliver large quantities of high resultion images from every point on earth.

We are looking forward to continue our fruitful collaboration.” Michael Oxfort, Head of Operations and Engineering for RapidEye comments, ”All the work accomplished since the launch allows us to put a very capable system into commercial operations. The quality of the data definitely meets our expectations and we even expect to see enhancements considering the ongoing calibration work on the cameras. Our motivated operations team is fully trained and keen to finally start with the operational tasks which have been extensively rehearsed over the last weeks.”

A worldwide network of distributors is being assembled by RapidEye to facilitate easy access to RapidEye’s products by customers in their own language and region. These partnerships should be completed later this year.

For more information about current distributors or how to purchase RapidEye’s products or services, please visit www.rapideye.de/home/how-to-buy/

An e-commerce platform is also currently under construction that will be available from RapidEye’s website. This self-service shop will allow customers to search for, purchase and immediately download RapidEye Standard Image Products with no minimum order size. The company plans to unveil ‘The RapidEye Kiosk’ within the next few months.

If you are interested in having access to demonstration datasets of RapidEye Standard Image Products, RapidEye has recently released an image of Griffith, Australia on their website in two of their three product levels.

They are available for download at http://www.rapideye.de/demo-products. Additional technical information about RapidEye’s products can be found in the ‘RapidEye Image Product Specifications’ at http://www.rapideye.de/upload/documents/RE_Product_Specifications.pdf.

About RapidEye AG

RapidEye is an ISO-certified geospatial information provider focused on integrating customized and industry specific solutions into the workflow of global customers in agriculture, forestry, energy, infrastructure, government, security and emergency. RapidEye experts and their system – including a constellation of five satellites capable of imaging and downloading over 4 million km² of high resolution, multi-spectral imagery per day, and a ground segment for processing and archiving this imagery – allow for cost-effective customized services. The unique combination of large area coverage, high spatial resolution and the possibility of daily revisit to an area provide for superior management information solutions. Currently, more than 90 experts from more than 20 countries are employed by RapidEye, with plans to grow the team to 140 in 2009.

RapidEye benefits from a public-private partnership with the Space Agency of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), which is supported by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. RapidEye is also cofinanced by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

For more information on ERDF please contact efreinfo@mw.brandenburg.de

For more information about RapidEye, please visit www.rapideye.de

RapidEye AG
Molkenmarkt 30
14776 Brandenburg a. d. Havel, Germany

RapidEye is a “Selected Landmark in the Land of Ideas” and therefore part of the event series “365 Landmarks in the Land of Ideas”. This program is run by the initiative “Germany – Land of Ideas” and Deutsche Bank. Being a “Selected Landmark” RapidEye will stand for Germany being a “Land of ideas” in 2009 and will demonstrate Germany’s spirit of innovation. The initiative is under the patronage of Germany’s federal president Horst Köhler. www.land-of-ideas.org

RapidEye AG | Molkenmarkt 30 | 14776 Brandenburg/Havel |Germany
Toll Free (US): +1 800 940 3617
Phone: +49 3381 8904-0 | Fax: +49 33818904-101
info@rapideye.de | www.rapideye.de

Author: EARSC

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