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BGU to Analyze Israel’s VENUS Satellite Images

Photonics.com
Aug 2017
BEER SHEVA, Israel, Sept. 7, 2017 — Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) is playing a key role in the research component of the Vegetation and Environment Monitoring on a New Micro Satellite (VENµS), Israel's first environmental research satellite launched at the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, Guiana.

Venµs is a joint project of the Israel Space Agency (ISA) and its French counterpart, Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES). They will support the study of vegetation evolution, agriculture and the environment. It will capture dozens of images daily, including those that cannot be seen by the human eye, using a sophisticated multispectral camera. The camera will capture images in 12 wavelengths including the four red-edge wavelengths, a relatively narrow spectral area that will enable scientists to better quantify the state and dynamics of vegetation at the chosen research sites.

Venµs (Vegetation and Environment Monitoring on a New Micro Satellite) will support the study of vegetation evolution, agriculture and the environment. It will capture dozens of images daily, including those that cannot be seen by the human eye, using a sophisticated multi-spectral camera. The camera will capture images in 12 wavelengths including the four 'red-edge' wavelengths -- a relatively narrow spectral area that will enable scientists to better quantify the state and dynamics of vegetation at the chosen research sites.
Venµs (Vegetation and Environment Monitoring on a New Micro Satellite) will support the study of vegetation evolution, agriculture and the environment. It will capture dozens of images daily, including those that cannot be seen by the human eye, using a sophisticated multi-spectral camera. The camera will capture images in 12 wavelengths including the four "red-edge" wavelengths -- a relatively narrow spectral area that will enable scientists to better quantify the state and dynamics of vegetation at the chosen research sites. Courtesy of BGU.

"The satellite is uniquely suited for monitoring agricultural crops in accordance with the concept of precision agricultures, offering high-spatial resolution of 16 ft and a 48-hour revisit time," said Professor Arnon Karnieli, lead researcher on the satellite project. "This concept allows a farmer to see the spatial and temporal changes of his crops not just on the scale of the entire field, but on an intrafield scale of small plots. It will help conserve resources and protect the land and groundwater from surpluses of water, fertilizers and pesticides."

Images specific to Israel will be received, analyzed and archived at the BGU Remote Sensing Laboratory on the Sede Boqer campus, an operation site of the Science and Technology Ministry.

"Israel is renowned the world over for its courage and innovation, elements which are expressed in the technological development of VENµS," said Ofir Akunis, Science, Technology and Space Minister of Israel. "We are filled with pride to see this long-awaited project of the best engineers and researchers in Israel led by the Israel Space Agency and the French space agency reach fruition."

The blue and white satellite, built by Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd., also features a new electrical propulsion system designed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., which is intended to reduce the satellite's weight. Elbit Systems Ltd. designed the special camera. The micro satellite weighs 265 kg and entered a geo-synchronous orbit at a height of 720 km within two days of the launch. It will orbit the Earth 29 times each 48-hour cycle and is expected to remain in orbit for 4.5 years, after which it will move to a lower orbit, 255 miles (410 kilometers) from Earth.

"This satellite represents an unprecedented integration of capabilities and will enable a broad range of research tasks in the planetary sciences," Karnieli said.

BusinessBiophotonicsResearch NewsBen-Gurion UniversityNegevimagingsatelliteVegetation and Environment Monitoring on a New Micro SatelliteVenusIsraelGuiana Space CentermonitoringAsia-Pacific

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