Ofeq 5, The latest
satellite in the Ofeq series was launched by an
IAI/MLM Shavit satellite launcher, from Palmachim missile test
center on the Israeli Mediterranean coast on May 28, 2002.
Ofeq 5 is a
reconnaissance satellite carrying a remote sensing payload that
will enable it to perform its high-resolution observation missions for
national needs. Ofeq 5 is believed to be capable of delivering both
panchromatic and color images, at resolutions substantially exceeding
those provided by Israeli commercial satellite services (0.8 meter).
OFEQ-5, built by
IAI/MBT, belongs to the class of small and lightweight satellites. Its
launch weight is about 300 kg, it has a height of 2.3 meters and 1.2
is a three-axes stabilized, lightweight satellite platform, adapted for
high-resolution observation, scientific, or, technological payloads.
Its design is based on the proven technologies employed in the Ofeq
The satellite circles
the Earth, from East to West, every hour and a half, at an approximate
angle of inclination 143 degrees. OFEQ-5's lightweight allows for
maximum agility over target to yield rapid image acquisition.
acquires images in swaths ahead of satellite trajectory,
beneath it and lateral to it.
It is designed to
operate at altitudes between 370 and 600 km above the surface of the
Earth. Higher altitudes will prolong its mission duration in space while
lower altitudes enable higher ground sampling resolutions imagery. The
projected lifetime of the satellite is approximately four years.
IAI Bedek is currently developing the
follow-on satellite in the Ofeq program, designated Ofeq 6. It will
employ a more advanced payload, capable of all-weather operation. It is
not clear yet, if the sensor will employ cloud penetration capability
provided by radar or imaging, or night and limited weather penetration,
enabled by thermal imaging.
Ofeq 5 shown at IAI/MBT before loading into the Shavit
satellite launcher. (page middle - the satellite shown in deployed
- 600 km