Germany – With the ability to image up to 4 Million km² of the earth’s surface daily, RapidEye’s constellation of five satellites will download an enormous amount of data every day. To handle all of this incoming data, a seven year contract for download services has been signed between Kongsberg Satellite Services AS (KSAT) of Tromsø, Norway, and RapidEye AG.
“Antennas in pole vicinity are ideal for earth observation satellites in a sun-synchronous orbit, as they allow contact to the spacecraft in every orbit, which was a key factor when contracting with KSAT”, says Michael Oxfort, member of the Management Team at RapidEye.
KSAT has completed the installation of a 7.3m X-band antenna in Svalbard (approx. 78°N) to support the daily download volume of the RapidEye constellation. “This new 7.3m antenna dedicated to support RapidEye will be part of our 6 large aperture antennas which together with our 2 medium sized antennas as well as a number of smaller antennas is making the site in Svalbard the largest facility for polar orbiting satellites”, comments Rolf Skatteboe, President of KSAT.
Download capacity on 13m antennas, also located in Svalbard, will additionally be made available to RapidEye on a special request basis.
To assure the fast availability of data, a dedicated high speed communication line between Svalbard and RapidEye’s headquarters in Brandenburg will be in place to support the imagery data transmission to the processing facilities. This high speed data line together with the automated processing system will allow RapidEye to deliver data or information products and services to its customers the following day.