Israel and Earth Observation Systems
By the end of 1994, Israel's fledgling space program had produced only two, short duration, LEO satellites of a primarily engineering nature. The 1994 launch of a 55-kg, 45-cm cube micro satellite named Techsat (aka Gurwin) was postponed until 1995. Originally planned for launch into a sun-synchronous orbit as a piggy-back payload during an Ariane mission, Techsat was later manifested for the inaugural launch of the 5-stage Russian Start booster. Designed and built by the Israel Space Agency, Haifa's Technion Institute, and others, Techsat was outfitted with a simple CCD television system for Earth observation purposes. The planned orbit for Techsat was approximately 670 km in a posigrade, near-polar inclination.
In the field of observation satellites, IAI/MBT Division manufactures the EROS (Earth Resources Observation Satellite) series of commercial high resolution observation satellites for ImageSat International (ISI) Ltd. EROS-A, the first in the constellation, was launched successfully in 2000. EROS A is the first in Imagesat International's planned constellation of polar orbiting, sun-synchronous satellites. EROS A has a 1.8m panchromatic resolution with a swath of 14KM at nadir from an orbit of ~500KM, and sub-meter resolution using hyper-sampling techniques. EROS-A, and EROS B, the first in the constellation, are operating simultaneously in heliosynchronous orbits, providing ISI's customers short re-visit times.
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