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Optical Systems For Space Applications

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Elbit Systems
: 24 June, 2010  (Application Story)
Electro-Optics subsidiary of Elbit Systems has been involved in the development and manufacture of imaging systems for use on Israeli spy satellites
Optical Systems For Space Applications
Elbit Systems Electro-Optics Elop (Elop) is a subsidiary of Elbit Systems. Founded 73 years ago, Elop is an Israeli electro-optics systems house for defence applications. For its contribution to the state of Israel's national security, Elop has received the Israel Defence Award on five different occasions.

Located in the Science Park near Rehovot, Elop’s principal activities include research, development, manufacturing, integration, and testing of electro-optic products and systems, starting from observation systems for individual soldiers, through airborne reconnaissance systems, to highly reliable, high performance earth observation systems. Elop has mastery of the entire electro-optic spectrum from ultraviolet to infrared.

Elop's activities include:

• Air, ground and naval Thermal Imaging Systems
• Integrated Sights & Robotic Systems
• Laser Capabilities: Laser radars, Airborne Laser Designators, Eye safe Laser Range Finders (ELRF) for Fire Control Systems, High Repetition Eye safe LRFs for E/O Payloads, Long Range Ground Designators
• Head Up Displays (HUDS) for jet fighters and cargo aircraft
• Surveillance Solutions Integrated Systems

Remote sensing systems featuring space applications, missile launching detection systems, airborne photography, surveillance payloads and hyper-spectral sensors.

For more than 25 years, Elop has been operating as a systems house and key partner of the State of Israel in its space activities. Elop's electro-optical cameras are installed in the IDF Ofeq family of satellites. Cameras manufactured at Elop are also supplied to customers, such as: commercial satellite market, space agencies and international consortiums. All space systems manufactured have provided 100 % performance and reliability throughout the mission lifecycle, from the launch until the end of the mission. Today 5 systems manufactured by Elop are orbiting in space providing total customer satisfaction.

Elop’s activities in the space field are based on a solid foundation of highly experienced and trained professional personnel and in-house capabilities ranging from research, development, engineering and manufacture, certification for space environment and testing in high class clean rooms. All Elop space systems are tested at all development stages using test equipment with an accuracy of up to 10-6 of a millimetre and simulation systems that include final testing in simulated space environments (vacuum and extreme temperature variations).

In addition to the space cameras developed for the Ofeq satellite product-line, an additional camera of note is the Mercury remote-sensing camera still in use in ImageSat International Eros A satellite, Operational for more than 10 years in space without any performance decline. This camera provides images with 2m resolution from an orbit at an altitude of 500 km. The current generation, in use in the Eros B satellite is of Neptune type which orbits for more than 4 years and provides images with 70 cm resolution from an orbit at an altitude of 500 km. The Uranus multi-spectral space camera (MSC) developed for the Korean Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) provides BW (panchromatic) images with 1m resolution and 4m resolution (Multispectral – MS) from 680 km altitude.

The Tauvex camera for astronomical uses has been supplied lately by Elop for integration with an Indian satellite. This camera has been jointly developed by the Israeli Ministry of Science & Technology, Tel-Aviv University and the Israeli Space Agency (ISA) with the cooperation of the Indian Space Agency for UV particles observation from 36,000 km into deep space.

Today Elop is concentrating on the next generation of space camera development which includes the Venus camera developed and manufactured for a joint effort between the French Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) and the Israeli Space Agency (ISA). The Venus camera will provide 12 simultaneous overlapping earth images for environmental monitoring of Vegetation & Water reservoirs pollution. An additional camera, Jupiter will provide 0.5m resolution from an altitude of 600 km in the panchromatic and 2m resolution in the multi spectral spectrum.

The space systems developed by Elop are well-known for their superior performance, overall low weight and volume which make them optimal for integration with small satellites.

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