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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Next generation satellite ready in 2012

Israel's next generation satellite, currently known as OpSat3000, but presumably to be known as Ofeq10, will likely be ready to roll late in 2012.

The 400 kg satellite will orbit at an altitude of 600 km, incl. 98.23 deg. heliocynchronous orbit, with a period of 99 min. It will carry 30 kg of fuel to sustain maneuvering for at least six years in orbit. Despite the increased weight IAI confirms OpSat 3000 satellites can be launched into orbit by current Shavit satellite launchers or by other launchers.

The satellite will be the first to carry the ‘Jupiter’ payload developed by Elbit Systems subsidiary ElOp. Jupiter is designed to cover a swath 15 km wide from an altitude of 600 km. The 30,000 pixel panchromatic Time Delay and Integration (TDI) sensor offering a resolution of 50 cm from that altitude (compared to 70 cm provided by current Neptun payloads). The Jupiter payload also has a parallel 7.5 Megapixel multispectral sensor, capturing color images at a resolution of 200 cm.
30 kilos of fuel is enough to operate a satellite 600 kilometers above the earth for six years? That's awesome.

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At 3:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once it is launched, it only needs very small amounts of fuel to stabilize and maintain its orbit. Also, the fuel is solid propellant, very effective.

At 5:59 PM, Blogger Geoffrey Carman said...

And Israel is the only country in the world that launches AGAINST the earths rotation. Everyone else launches with the earths rotation, getting a free performance boost. Israel has to fight it, since they have to launch to the west over the Mediterranean to avoid overflying all sorts of countries. So the Shavit's payload is significantly reduced, than if it were launched the other way.

Two reasons: 1) Looks like a missle launch.
2) If it fails and crashes down on something.

#2 is the same reason Polar orbit launches are done from Vandenburg AFB in California, instead of Cape Canaveral, Florida in the US. A polar launch is basically a launch into a north/south orbit , instead of into an east-west orbit. From Florida it would overfly almost all of the US and Canadian East coast. From California, they can tilt it a little west and miss all of the US except for Alaska at the very end, and who cares about Alaska that much? (Kidding!)


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