RapidEye is a constellation of 5 satellites of Télédétection drawn by MDA for RapidEye AG. The optical sensor used on each satellite measures reflectance in five bands, in wavelengths ranging between 400 and 850 nanometers, with a space resolution of 6,5 meters to nadir, 5 meters after interpolation. Reflectance will be measured on 12 bits, that is to say 4096 levels. The recording of the data will be done on a tape of 77km broad. The use of 5 satellites allows a broad cover of the Earth as well as a good repetitivity.
Five windows of observation:
*440 - 510 Nm (blue) *520 - 590 Nm (green) *630 - 685 Nm (red) *690 - 730 Nm (red dark) (red-edge) *760 - 850 Nm (near infra-red)
RapidEye will provide products in its various fields:
*Agriculture - follow-up of the growth, cartography, forecast of outputs… *Cartography - Charts satellitales, orthophotos, etc… *Autres Markets - natural disasters, visualization 3D, etc…
The satellites will be placed on remote orbit equalizes from/to each other on the same heliosynchronous orbit in order to guarantee good conditions of observation and a weak time of revisits. The RapidEye system will be able to observe any zone of the sphere under 12 midnight and to cover the entirety of the cultivated extents of Europe and North America in 5 days.
The platform satellitale RapidEye was built and tested by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL). RapidEye is the second constellation multisatellite designed after constellation DMC Disaster Monitoring Constellation.
LaunchingThe five satellites of observation of the RapidEye ground, weighing each one approximately 150 kg, will be launched by a single Russian rocket Dnepr starting from the Cosmodrome de Baïkonour with the Kazakhstan at the beginning of 2008. They will be deployed to 630 km of altitude.
Launching is envisaged enters at the end of April and at the end of May 2008. The last delay having been due only to the launcher, this fork will be replaced soon by a fixed date.
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