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Israel’s ImageSat to provide satellite imagery for Rio Olympics security

ImageSat International's Eros-B high-resolution imaging satellite. Image courtesy of ImageSat International N.V.
ImageSat International’s Eros-B high-resolution imaging satellite. Image courtesy of ImageSat International N.V.

ImageSat International N.V., the Yehuda Or, Israel-based commercial satellite imagery company, has been selected by the Brazilian Ministry of Defence to provide Brazilian authorities with high-resolution satellite imagery to provide security monitoring of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro beginning on 5 August 2016.

ImageSat operates the Eros-B high-resolution earth observation satellite that was designed and built by Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI), possesses a 0.5 metre panchromatic resolution at 500 kilometres altitude, and was launched in 2006 from Russia with an expected operational lifetime of 20 years.

A second satellite, Eros-C, is expected to be launched in 2019 and will have a 0.4 metre panchromatic resolution, and is also designed and built by IAI. Both satellites are thought to be variants of the Ofeq-3 classified reconnaissance satellite used by the Israeli government and designed and built by IAI.

With regards to ImageSat’s contract with the Brazilian government, the company is not only providing satellite imagery but also geospatial intelligence solutions, integrated intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance with manned and unmanned aerial systems, and data analysis.

Commenting on the ImageSat contract, Brazilian Defence Minister Raul Jungmann said that, “This is an Israeli satellite at a low Earth orbit altitude, capable of capturing high-resolution images of up to 50 centimeters in an area of 450 kilometers, thus enabling the identification of objects, people, cars, and goods.”

“Brazil has no need to worry because we have been in touch with the world’s best intelligence agencies and we will bring unique innovations to the Games,” Jungmann added. “We’ll have an international intelligence center to host 100 nations and their own intelligence centers, which is unprecedented.”

Jungmann also pointed out that the initial contract with ImageSat is for six months, to include August and September 2016 during the Olympic and Paralympic Games for experimental purposes. Once the games have finished Jungmann suggested that ImageSat will be tapped to support Brazilian border security efforts.

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