The spacecraft will join three other SAR-Lupe satellites as the constellation grows, all providing high-resolution images to the German Ministry of Defence. The satellite was boosted into orbit from the Plesetsk space center by a Russian Cosmos-3M rocket, which released the satellite into its intended orbit about one-half hour after launch.
Thales Alenia Space was responsible, on behalf of the prime contractor OHB-System AG, for the design and development of the Sensor Electronic Units, comprising radio frequency, processing and control sub-units.
The SAR-Lupe program, which has a life-time of 10 years, comprises a constellation of five identical small satellites (720 kg), which will be positioned into 3 quasi-polar orbital planes at approximately 500 km altitude, plus a ground segment.
The program is based on sophisticated technologies in SAR radar field, able to get images under any weather or light conditions (day or night). The satellite’s SAR will provide image in X-band and offer a spatial resolution of less than 1 metre. The last SAR-Lupe satellite is planned for launch this summer. The German Space Agency DLR in Oberpfaffenhofen is handling the satellite control, with the German Armed Forces to assume responsibility for the spacecraft in about four weeks time. All of the preliminary tests indicate this fourth satellite is working properly without the need of even minor adjustments—Cannes, France