Jena-Optronik GmbH to equip RapidEye satellite-based observation system

AUGUST 10--Jena-Optronik GmbH, a subsidiary within Jenoptik's Photonics business division, has received a major order for the delivery of image-processing systems for the RapidEye satellite-based Earth observation system.

Aug 10th, 2004

AUGUST 10--Jena-Optronik GmbH, a subsidiary within Jenoptik's Photonics business division, has received a major order for the delivery of image-processing systems for the RapidEye satellite-based Earth observation system. The company, based in Jena, Germany, will supply multispectral cameras and the connected on-board data-processing systems. The camera systems will provide a strong boost to the Jena-Optronik sales figures for 2005 and 2006.

Jena-Optronik received the order from the Canadian company MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates LTD (MDA), which is the general contractor for RapidEye AG. The RapidEye satellite system is composed of five identical Earth-observation satellites, which follow each other in their orbits like a string of pearls. This orbital formation ensures that every possible area of the world can be covered in one day. Each overflight allows for a multispectral image of the Earth's surface with a pixel size of 6.5 m, covering a strip of land 80 km wide and 1500 km long.

The satellites are all equipped with a camera encompassing five spectral channels, covering the earth's surface line-by-line according to the "pushbroom principle." The data are initially processed, compressed, formatted, and stored on-board the satellite before they are sent to the earth once within range of a ground station.

The satellite data provide the basis for high-quality environmental data packages that RapidEye AG can offer to institutions such as insurance companies and to the agriculture sector. The full information system is to go online in 2007.

Founded in 1992, Jena-Optronik GmbH develops and produces optoelectronic instruments and systems, laser control sensors, and software for satellites and for image analysis to be used by the international aerospace industry.

Rapid-Eye AG, founded in December 1998, is in the process of establishing a satellite-based geo-information service. RapidEye will be supported by a one-of-a-kind data source, consisting of small high-resolution satellites, enabling the company to provide a unique product and service range for the global earth observation market. Comprehensive market and customer analyses establish the basis both for the RapidEye system and for the company's product and service range.

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