High technology from Jena successfully launched on RapidEye

Jenoptik subsidiary Jena-Optronik provides five multi-spectral imagers for the payload of this unique earth observation mission
(PresseBox) (Jena, ) With today's start of the satellite-based RapidEye constellation Jena-Optronik strengthens its position as a leading supplier of instruments for earth observation. The RapidEye satellite system is composed of five identical earth observation satellites, and each of them is equipped with one multi-spectral imager from Jena-Optronik as the heart of the platform. On top of a DNEPR rocket all five satellites were launched from Baikonur, Kazakhstan this morning. With the help of the imagers, the German company RapidEye AG will establish a commercial geo-information service (GIS) able to get over 4 million square kilometres of high resolution, multispectral imagery per day.

Jena-Optronik received the order for the development and production of the multi-spectral imagers from MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA), Canada, the prime contractor for RapidEye constellation in 2004 via a subcontract issued to MDA. The Canadian company is a leading provider of information systems especially in the application area of monitoring the earth. The Canadian Commercial Corporation, a Government of Canada Crown corporation, is acting as the contracting agency between MDA and RapidEye AG.

Covering the Earth's surface continuously line-by-line (pushbroom principle) the imager of Jena-Optronik enables the precise data acquisition of an approximately 75 kilometres wide strip of land with a pixel size of 6.5 metres out of 630 kilometres. Working in five spectral channels, covering the wavelength range from visible to near infrared it will provide pin sharp multi-spectral and high resolution images. The formation of the satellite system enables a constant global coverage and therefore up-to-date information on a daily basis. Due to the high repetition rate the gained data provide important information in the field of environmental monitoring, landscape architecture or disaster management. Beyond that there is going to be an increased commercial benefit for potential end users such as agricultural insurers, who need to forecast or report damages, institutions such as the EU, companies which trade in agricultural commodities and farm corporations that rely on precision crop management.

With the development of the multi-spectral imagers for RapidEye Jena-Optronik entered successfully the market of satellite-based earth observation instruments. The Jena-based company will be a member of the core team of Sentinel-2 for optical earth observation and Sentinel-3 for the observation of the oceans within the European earth observation program GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security). Furthermore the imaging radiometer METimage is a planned German contribution for future operational earth observation platforms in polar orbits (EUMETSAT Post-EPS).

For further information please visit www.jenoptik.com and www.jena-optronik.com

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