Optical satellites play today worldwide in civil as well as military applications a major role. For commercial systems a target resolution of 50 cms GSD (Ground Sampling Distance) is becoming more and more a state of the art standard.
Satellites with these characteristics are requested nowadays by many countries were a few years ago such a requirements did not exist, for example: Korea, Kazakhstan, and Turkey, Mexico to name but a few.
German high-resolution technologies for optical satellites have earned in the meantime, a high degree of respect and recogination, this in conjunction with a very competitive price has enabled DLR with its industrial partners to take part and participate in many international satellite programs.
The department RM-ES has for the project KompSat3 developed the focal plan assembly (FPA), and has recently been awarded the follow on contract for the project KompSat3A. The resolution class of these satellites of approx. 0.5 ms GSD, with a restricted number of spectral canals, could only be achieved by using the very latest sensor technology, with modular and high redundancy design.
In addition the department has carried out intensive research into the latest methods and possibilities for high level integration, so that nearly all signal processing and mass data storage can be performed directly on the detector.
The scientific goal of this research project is the retrieval of direct information on a real-time basis in immediate surrounding of the detector. So that in the future one can hardly distinguish between the detector and the instrument.
Technologies such as MCM, data compression JPEG / JPEG200, analogously signal processing, real time calibration of system failure, manufacturing to 10 µ m of evenness on large surfaces, active and passive thermal constraints have a major design impact. All these technologies are developed using typical space approved standards.