New Israeli technology takes images of Earth from space

TecSar has the ability to create images of objects on earth in cloudy weather conditions.

January 26, 2010 23:44
1 minute read.
Israel Aerospace Industries publishes images from

space photography 311. (photo credit: IAI)

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) released on Tuesday, images taken by the TecSar satellite, the IDF's most-advanced space asset used for surveillance.

In the pictures, which were declassified, one can see a typical airport, city, volcano and river. Officials refused to divulge where exactly the images were taken. They were released ahead of the fifth annual International Ilan Ramon Space Conference at the Fisher Brothers Institute for Air and Space Strategies Studies.

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Launched two years ago, TecSar has the ability to create images of objects on earth in cloudy weather conditions.

The Ofek 7 satellite, in comparison, is a camera-based satellite, while TecSar is capable of creating high-resolution images using advanced radar technology called Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR).

"The TecSar uses a radar and not a camera and can create images without any restrictions of weather, during the day or at night," said Yossi Weiss, General Manager of IAI's Systems, Missiles and Space Group. "It is extremely advanced and our customer, the IDF, is very happy with the product."

The space conference will open on Wednesday with the keynote speech by NASA chief Charles Bolden, who is on his first visit to Israel. Bolden has met with President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Israeli Air Force Chief Ido Nehushtan and has visited several leading Israeli defense industries including IAI, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Elbit.

Bolden also met with Deputy Foreign Minister
Danny Ayalon who expressed hope that Israel would be able to send another astronaut into space to complete the mission of Ilan Ramon, who was killed in the 2003 Columbia tragedy. IAF sources said that while Israel would be happy to contribute another astronaut it was unlikely that such a plan would materialize in the near future.

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