Jena Optronics delivered the first payload in February to Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) in England for integration with the satellite bus. “The fact that the first payload has been completed constitute a significant progress for the program. We are looking forward to the other four units to follow quickly.” said Pietro Widmer, Manager for Operations and Engineering at RapidEye.
Integration and testing of the first satellite is proceeding per plan. The second payload has in the mean time also arrived at SSTL. The other four satellites will enter the integration and testing phase in the next couple of months.
Meanwhile the MDA developed image data and DEMs processing and archiving system that also includes the acquisition planning, calibration and order handling functions, underwent in January three weeks of rigorous and successful acceptance testing in Vancouver. This provided the green light for shipping it to RapidEye.
About a dozen crates of equipment arrived at RapidEye Headquarters at the end of February. Installation and another round of acceptance testing confirmed that the system is fully functional and the On-Site Acceptance Test milestone was successfully passed March 15th. This system joins in RapidEye‘s operations facilities the Satellite Control Center system, which had been delivered last September. Integration and test of the overall ground segment has started.
The five RapidEye earth observation satellites are planned to be launched before the end of this year from Baikonur (Kazakhstan).