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"Ofek" 5 sent the first satellite images

עודכן ב-01/06/02 11:24
The photos, from an altitude of 400 km, arrived in color and of good quality; IAA is considering selling satellite images to friendly countries

Photo: Reuters - Launch of "Ofek" 5 from Palmachim this week

The Ofek 5 spy satellite began last night (Friday) to transmit images to the ground station Eilat Hashar at the Mbat plant of the Aerospace Industry. The pictures are of good quality. The spokeswoman for the Ministry of Defense said that all the satellite systems are working well and as planned.

The first images were transmitted to the ground station on Friday evening when the satellite passed over our area in an elliptical orbit at a height of about 400 km above the Earth's surface. Ofek 5, which was launched into space this week, completes a rotation of the earth once every 90 minutes. It moves from west to east and transmits images to the ground station from all the countries of the Middle East.
Continuing his route, he photographs all the countries of North Africa, and broadcasts the images upon completion of the tour and return to the Israel region.

A telescopic camera manufactured by Al-Opt, owned by Elbit Systems, is installed on the satellite, capable of discovering, locating and identifying objects on the surface of the earth less than a meter in size. The images are broadcast in color.

IAI is considering selling images of the satellite IAI is interested in providing images of the satellite to several defense ministries of countries friendly to Israel, on the basis of business contracts, and has already begun initial explorations. It is estimated that the sale of images from "Ofek" 5 to preferred countries may bring in tens of millions of dollars in income per year.

The proposal to sell these images is expected to encounter difficulties in light of the basic position of the defense establishment, which claims that the satellite is owned by it and intended to serve its purposes only. However, in internal discussions it was already emphasized that "Ofek" 5 was defined as a satellite designed to satisfy the national needs of the State of Israel. Under this definition, selling images to defense ministries of friendly countries may be legitimate.

The request for the sale of space photographs of "Ofek" 5 will be brought for a decision before the Committee for the Coordination of Foreign Relations (and Foreign Affairs) in the Ministry of Defense.

Illustration of the satellite launch - courtesy of the aerospace industry


"Ofek" 5 a leap forward in the ability to detect threats from Iran, Libya and Iraq

29/05/02 03:52
By Zeev Schiff

Photo: Alon Ron The launch of the Ofek 5 satellite as seen yesterday from Gush
Dan

Israel's intelligence capability for independent detection of threats at ranges
Far away will increase in leaps and bounds, when the advanced camera starts working
that Israel was able to launch into space yesterday the "Ofek" 5 satellite for this capability
Very important, while countries like Iran are developing long-range missiles
and unconventional weapons.
Improving long-range intelligence capability is especially important now,
As Iran reaches an advanced stage in the development of surface-to-surface missiles of the type
"Shihab", and it will also advance in the development of nuclear capability. also
The view from space at two other Arab countries engaged in capacity development
Unconventional - Libya and Iraq - is more important now.

The step jump is expressed, above all, in the camera
The latest that was put into the satellite. The comparison is striking compared to the camera of Ofek
,"3 which also provided important information for about four years - from April 1995 until
At the end of 1999, the two cameras were developed and built at the "El Op" factory and must be seen
This is an important technological achievement of the Israeli defense industry. You
The launcher that put the satellite into orbit around the Earth built a factory
MLM of the Aerospace Industry, and the satellite - Mbat company.

Not all the details of the new camera have been published, but the progress is
Mainly in the field of resolution, which is considered improved even compared to cameras
In the French satellites.

"Ofek" 3 provided Israel with a lot of information, and its lifespan was longer than expected.
After he ended his life, Israel had to find replacements. Of course, if
Israel wants to take another step forward in the field of intelligence from space, it is important
To have at the same time two or three satellites floating in space
- or at least two satellites in space, and a third satellite on standby for launch
urgent.

The successful launch of "Ofek" 5 testifies to the special strategic situation of
Israel. On the one hand, it faces, with many difficulties, terrorists
Palestinians commit suicide, whose whole purpose is to kill Israeli citizens indiscriminately.
Its forces had to return yesterday to the refugee camp in Jenin: place
where a few weeks ago a severe battle took place in which 23 IDF soldiers were killed,
And as a result, false accusations as if the IDF continue in the international press
committed a massacre there. It is clear that Israel is having difficulty deciding the limited war they have declared
On it are the Palestinians, who mainly use the weapons of terror. On the other hand, Israel
reaches impressive technological achievements in space, strengthens its ability against
serious and ongoing threats and strengthens its ability to deter.

About the special situation in which Israel is in the Middle East was found yesterday
testimony. In the evening, less than half an hour after launching "Ofek," I received 5
The first news about the launch was read by phone from Doha in Qatar,
From the broadcasting station "Al-Jazeera". The most popular broadcasting station in the Arab world
requested that an Israeli security interpreter provide her with an interpretation from Israel, on
The meaning of the launch of the Israeli satellite. Despite the difficult military conflict
Between Israel and the Palestinians, it is clear that not all doors and windows have been closed
And each side continues to look towards what is happening with its neighbor. The advanced technology
Allows not only the launch of intelligence satellites, but also the ability to observe
And having a dialogue with the other side - something that did not exist in the past, at the time
that the various conflicts between Israel and the Arabs took place.


"Ofek" 5 will broadcast images from hostile countries
29/05/02 06:42

The Israeli spy satellite was successfully launched yesterday, and within a few weeks
will begin transmitting images from space
By Amnon Barzilai

Photo: Alon Ron, the missile launch. All launcher systems were working properly

The Israeli spy satellite "Ofek" 5 was successfully launched yesterday (Tuesday).
Using the Israeli satellite launcher "Shavit", and entered an elliptical orbit
low around the earth. The satellite will start transmitting images from space, mainly
from the countries that circle the threat to Israel, within a few weeks. The launch was made
From the Palmachim air force base in the center of the country.

The countdown to the Ofek launch began yesterday morning
the qualifiers, under the watchful eye of the engineering teams of the "Mabat" factories
and MLM of the Aerospace Industry (TAA) - the manufacturers of the satellite and the launcher.
The launch moment was postponed several times and the countdown started again and again.
Towards the evening hours, the final preparations were completed and at 18:25 there was an explosion
The "comet" then launched with its bow "horizon," 5 and moved quickly towards
West.

Because of the geographical location of Israel, "Shavit" is launched towards the west (opposite
for the rotation of the earth) so that in the event of a malfunction - it will not fall into the territory of
enemy state This fact required the planners to build a launcher with engines
particularly strong. According to foreign publications, the "comet" is a derivative of a missile
The Israeli ground-ground "Jericho".

The tension in the control room increased after the launcher disconnected from its first stage (the engine
the first) and accelerated its speed towards its exit from the atmosphere. The launch
The previous one in 1998 failed due to a system failure in the second stage (the second engine) of
the launcher Joyful cheers were heard in the control room, when the engineering team reported that
"Comet" stuck to the flight path outlined for it, disconnected from the second stage of flight
The launcher left the atmosphere.

The first two rocket engines, manufactured by the industry's "Givon" factory
military, brought the launcher to an altitude of about 110 km. From this point, within
To cruise, the launcher reaches an altitude of about 250 km and positions itself for removal
The canopy covering the satellite. After removing the canopy is separated, in the process
Release, the main instrument compartment and the third stage engine spark plug (manufactured
Rafael), which at the end of its operation separates the satellite in orbit at an altitude of about 260
km.

At this point, when the "Comet" satellite launcher completed its mission, entered
Pictured is the "Ofek" ground station, which was established inside the Mbat plant in Yehud.
This station also monitored the operation of the satellite by the Director General of the Aerospace Industry,
Moshe Kerat, and the factory manager, Yitzhak Nissan. The two joined the team
The engineers who waited for the first signals that the satellite was supposed to transmit, with
Completion of the first lap around the Earth after 90 minutes. from the signals
that came from the satellite showed that all the satellite systems are functioning properly.

Once placed in orbit around the Earth, the satellite will undergo a series of tests
designed to verify its integrity and level of performance. The satellite carries a camera
A telescope made by "Alup" owned by "Elbit Systems", capable
Remote sensing that allows observation from space at a high level of separation
(resolution). The images are transmitted using a data system developed on
By "Tadiran Specterlink".
The main mission of the satellite is to track, identify, locate and provide information
Available to the Amman and the security system, on movements of military forces or
Changes in formations and mobilizations of all countries that are in conflict with
Israel.

Even though Ofek circles the earth once every hour and a half, it is because of rotation
Earth, and the changes in its flight path, the satellite returns to it
A point just two days later. For backup and compensation for the lost days
Of these, the Ministry of Defense receives services from the civilian photography satellite
"Eros". The Ministry of Defense receives satellite photography services from another source.

Ofek 5 belongs to the category of light and small satellites. its weight
At launch about 300 kg, its height is 2.3 meters and its diameter is 1.2 meters. because of the growth
The telescopic camera also increased in weight. The satellite will move in a low orbit
Around the earth, at altitudes between 370 and 600 km. The size of the lens
and the distance from the Earth will dictate the level of separation of the images. The evaluation
is that the camera is able to detect objects less than a meter in size on the ground.

"Ofek" 5 will replace "Ofek" 3 in space, which ended its role before it
about two years. After the failure to launch "Ofek" 4, the defense system decided to take
timeout and reorganize the entire project. It was also decided to develop the next generation
of the spy satellites. Apparently, the systems that were placed on "Ofek" 5
They are much more sophisticated than in "Ofek," the 3 images are colorful and
higher quality. The cost of the project is over 80 million dollars
And it is budgeted as part of a multi-year plan built by the Ministry of Defense for Development
military space ventures.

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