Israel launches new satellite
Israel’s latest remote-sensing satellite, Ofeq-9, was successfully placed in orbit on June 22 by an Israel Aerospace Industries Shavit vehicle launched from Palmachim Air Force Base, near the cities of Rishon LeZion and Yavne. Three days later the IAI-built satellite began transmitting its first high-resolution images.
Ofeq-9 joins a growing constellation of Israeli reconnaissance satellites that include the optical sensor, Ofeq-5 and Ofeq-7, and the TecSAR satellite with imaging synthetic aperture radar. IAI developed Ofeq-9 in response to an Israeli ministry of defense requirement, working with other Israeli specialists such as Elisra, El-Op, IMI, Rafael and Tadiran-Spectralink.
El-Op (part of Elbit Systems) supplies high- specification cameras for the space program. Its latest product is the lightweight Jupiter, currently in the advanced integration stage and intended for carriage by micro/mini platforms. It offers panchromatic and multi-spectral options, providing 0.5-meter resolution across a 15-kilometer swath in the pan mode from an altitude of 600 kilometers.
In addition to its domestic sales, El-Op has provided cameras for Indian and Korean space programs.