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RapidEye 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

RapidEye

RapidEye [RapidEye]

The RapidEye satellite constellation is a dedicated system for commercial Earth observation, consisting of five mini-satellites, which carry a CCD-based imaging system.

The CCD-based earth imaging system (5 spectral bands including visible, red-edge and near infra-red) allows the generation of images of up to 77 km × 1500  km at a resolution of 6.5 meters.

Each satellite has the capability of performing an off-track rotation. The camera's imaging swath of approx. 150 km combined with an off-track angle of 22 ensures daily accessibility.

The RapidEye Mission was launched in 2008. The five satellites were launched on a single Dnepr vehicle and placed in a common sun-synchronous orbit of 620 km, with the satellites equally spaced about 19 minutes apart in their orbit, ensuring frequent imaging of particular areas of interest. The satellites can be redirected once per orbit through the telemetry, tracking and command unit. A data handling and storage unit is situated onboard each satellite as well as a high-speed X-band communication system. The designed lifetime of these satellites is 7 years.

The Taiwanese Argo satellite was once planned to join the constellation as a sixth satellite, but this cooperation was dissolved.

In 2015 it was estimated, that the RapidEye satellites would remain in service until 2021. In 2015 it was announced, that BlackBridge would be sold to Planet Labs.

Nation: Germany
Type / Application: Earth observing
Operator: RapidEye → BlackBridge → Planet Labs
Contractors: MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA) (Prime), SSTL (Bus)
Equipment: CCD-based earth imaging system
Configuration: SSTL-150
Propulsion: ?
Power: Solar cells, batteries
Lifetime: 7 years
Mass: 150 kg
Orbit: 620 km × 620 km, 97.79
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
RapidEye 1 (Tachys) 2008-040C 29.08.2008 Ba LC-109/95 Dnepr with RapidEye 2, RapidEye 3, RapidEye 4, RapidEye 5
RapidEye 2 (Mati) 2008-040A 29.08.2008 Ba LC-109/95 Dnepr with RapidEye 1, RapidEye 3, RapidEye 4, RapidEye 5
RapidEye 3 (Choma) 2008-040D 29.08.2008 Ba LC-109/95 Dnepr with RapidEye 1, RapidEye 2, RapidEye 4, RapidEye 5
RapidEye 4 (Choros) 2008-040E 29.08.2008 Ba LC-109/95 Dnepr with RapidEye 1, RapidEye 2, RapidEye 3, RapidEye 5
RapidEye 5 (Trochia) 2008-040B 29.08.2008 Ba LC-109/95 Dnepr with RapidEye 1, RapidEye 2, RapidEye 3, RapidEye 4

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