Germany: RapidEye is celebrating its second year in space with a milestone of imaging one billionth square kilometre of the surface of the Earth this year. After successful satellite launch in August 2008, RapidEye began its commercial operations on February 4, 2009.
Recently, RapidEye has completed its background mission in North America and collected over 95% of the US over the last 3 months. Earlier this year, RapidEye successfully completed an imaging campaign over China and collected 7.8 million square kilometre of the country ahead of schedule.
In December 2009, RapidEye opened the RapidEye Geodata Kiosk, an online shop for satellite imagery with ready-to-use data available immediately after purchase. Over 20 million kilometre of satellite imagery, including a vast majority of North America and Europe are available for download.
Recent emergency events such as the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, as well as the oil spill incident in the Gulf of Mexico have shown that satellite imagery plays a great part in being able to support relief efforts. Hence, RapidEye completed imaging the regions in Haiti that have been most affected by the 7.0-magnitude earthquake in January. It has also imaged the area next to the epicenter of the heavy 8.8-magnitude earthquake in Chile in February this year, and completed change detection analysis to depict vegetation changes in rural areas and flooding in urban areas. The area around the Gulf of Mexico was covered several times since the oil spill occurred. RapidEye also has fresh images of the coast line before the oil spill thus opening the door for an in-depth analysis of the effects of this disaster on the region.
Over the last months, RapidEye has expanded its distribution network to more than 15 distributors to cover new markets in Eastern Europe and Asia.