Spacing Imaging (Image Credit: Satpalda)

When GeoEye successfully launched the IKONOS satellite in 1999, it made history with the world’s first one-meter commercial remote sensing satellite. Moving over the ground at approximately seven kilometers per second, IKONOS collects black and-white and multispectral data at a rate of over 2,000 square kilometers per minute. Through the nearly fifteen, 98-minute journeys it makes around the globe each day, IKONOS collects vital statistics about the Earth’s ever-changing features—from fluctuations in land and water resources to the build-out of new urban areas.

Ikonos derives its name from the Greek term eikōn for image

Specifications of Ikonos sensor:

Launch Date24 September 1999 Vandenberg Air Force Base, California
Operational LifeOver 8.5 Years
Orbit98.1 degree, sun synchronous
Speed on Orbit7.5 kilometers (4.7 miles) per second
Speed Over the Ground6.8 kilometers (4.2 miles) per second
Number of Revolutions Around the Earth14.7 every 24 hours
Orbit Time Around the Earth98 minutes
Altitude681 kilometers (423 miles)
0.82 meters (2.7 feet) panchromatic
3.2 meters (10.5 feet) multispectra
26° Off-Nadir :
3.2 meters (10.5 feet) multispectra
4.0 meters (13.1 feet) multispectral
Spectral RangeBlue: 445–516 nm
Green : 506–595 nm
Red : 632–698 nm
NIR : 757–853 nm
Pan : 450–900 nm
Spectral Range11.3 kilometers (7.0 miles) at nadir
13.8 kilometers (8.6 miles at 26° off-nadir)
Equator Crossing TimeNominally 10:30 a.m. solar time
Revisit TimeApproximately 3 days at 1-meter resolution, 40° latitude
Dynamic Range11-bits per pixel
Image BandsPanchromatic, blue, green, red, near infrared

IKONOS is a three-axis stabilized spacecraft designed by Lockheed Martin. The design later became known as the LM900 satellite bus system. The satellite’s altitude is measured by two star trackers and a sun sensor and controlled by four reaction wheels; location knowledge is provided by a GPS receiver. The design life is seven years; S/C body size=1.83 m × 1.57 m (hexagonal configuration); S/C mass = 817 kg; power = 1.5 kW provided by three solar panels.

Ikonos’ applicationss include both urban and rural mapping of natural resources and of natural disasters, tax mapping, agriculture and forestry analysis, mining, engineering, construction, and change detection. It can yield relevant data for nearly all aspects of environmental study.

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