April 4th, 2011
Rafael Advanced Defense Systems... I Spy With My Micro Sat
From Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, their work will offer tactical users rapid access to high resolution satellite imagery, augmenting aerial recce obtained by aircraft and UAVs. The core of the system is based on the Company’s LiteSat design, a new micro-satellite platform designed for a maximum weight of 100kg, facilitating airborne launch methods. Leveraging on relatively low-cost airborne launch (from aircraft such as the F-15), the concept calls for the deployment of several satellites in a constellation enabling high revisit frequency and rapid Operationally Responsive Space deployment ORS.
The satellite is designed to operate in a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) at an altitude of 300-350 km for missions lasting as long as seven years. Rafael is planning to equip the LiteSat with an EO payload offering ‘sub-metric’ resolution, with the same mission management, image processing, enhancement and optimization handled by field deployable IMILITE imagery processing systems currently supporting aerial recce and UAV platforms. The Litesat platform is designed with ultra-light structures manufactured by Rafael’s space qualified composite material labs. The company has also developed lightweight propulsion methods, based on cold gas and elctrical propulsion (HAL effect), facilitating long operation using minimal fuel storage.