Israel is sharpening its eyes in space by developing new optical and radar eyes. The target is to see every small detail in "areas of interest" day and night, winter and summer, 24/7.
The capabilities are very high, more than is reflected in official publications, and they are improving all the time.
The ELOP division of Elbit Systems is the developer of the optical eyes. The division has recently revealed some details about the new "Jupiter" high-performance space camera.
This system will enable Israel to launch small intelligence satellites with excellent resolution.
ELOP made the optical payloads for all the Israeli intelligence satellites launched so far.
According to Adi Dar, general manager of ELOP, the "Jupiter" is intended for installation on micro and mini platforms. He added that the new space camera payload is optimised for high-resolution images.
The new system will allow very detailed high-value target investigation, definition of small and discrete vehicles, objects and structures, high-quality intentions and warnings (I&W), and situational awareness. I&W is a process of strategic monitoring that analyses indicators and produces warnings.
The advanced camera contains both panchromatic (PAN) and optional multi-spectral (MS) imaging capabilities.
By sharing a common optical assembly it is capable of simultaneous operation and the creation of PAN, MS and pan-sharpened images.
According to ELOP, from an altitude of 600km, the "Jupiter" camera provides very high spatial resolutions with 0.5m resolution (PAN) and 2m resolution (MS) while covering a swath of 15km.
This by itself is impressive, but as I mentioned the capabilities are improving all the time and the optical one is complemented by the synthetic aperture radar (SAR), one provided by the payload made by the Elta division of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).
With a line of intelligence satellites in the making, with the new very advanced payloads, Israel hopes to be capable of seeing what is vital, to be ready for any threat.