In March 2003, Europe entered a new era in high-resolution earth observation. That was when European Space Imaging started directly tasking the IKONOS satellite. IKONOS flies at 680-kilometer altitude and delivers global images with a less than 1-meter detail to customers in Europe. The high-resolution satellite images clearly allow for the identification of small objects such as cars from space. The new ground station is located at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Oberpfaffenhofen, just West of Munich, Germany. Its reception area covers Europe and Northern Africa from the Arctic Circle to the Saharan desert and from the Atlantic to the Caspian Sea.
IKONOS launched in 1999 is the first civil high-resolution satellite with the ability to identify features of less than one meter in size. The images collected by IKONOS are available to any interested customer. Main customer applications of high-resolution satellite images include cartography, agriculture and forestry, urban planning, telecommunications, national security as well as disaster management. European Space Imaging and the German Aerospace Center cordially invite the European media to the official opening of the IKONOS ground station on Friday, 27th June between 11 am – 1 pm. European Space Imaging and DLR will present up-to-date examples of IKONOS high-resolution images. This will be followed by a questions-and-answers-session, a tour through the ground station’s satellite control facility, where snacks and drinks will be served.