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This radar image from the European Space Agency’s now retired Envisat satellite was acquired Dec. 28, 2004, two days after a massive tsunami hit Asia. Astrium’s new GO-3S satellite will be able to zoom in on such disasters and deliver real-time images and video.

Astrium is speaking to countries outside Europe, including Singapore, about partnering to develop GO-3S, the company’s new geostationary Earth observation (EO) satellite.

Gregory Pederson, Astrium sales and marketing director, says the 10-meter-long, 4.9-ton GO-3S will cover about a one-quarter of Earth’s surface. It will have a 4-meter mirror that can observe a 100- x 100-km (60- x 60-mile) sector, with 3-meter resolution and a picture rate of five images per second.

Astrium is seeking outside partners to help bankroll the effort. “We are looking for partners and investors in starting the project,” Pederson told Aviation Week on the sidelines of the recent Global Satellite & Technology Convention in Singapore. “We’ve already invested research and development money into this.”

According to Pederson, any country that invests in the program will get a dedicated capacity and share of revenue from services derived from the satellite. “Singapore, for many reasons, is one of the main countries interested in this,” he says. “There is potential for technical cooperation and business cooperation. Generally speaking, Singapore is interested in projects that are leading the market. We are creating a new market segment in which an investor can be at the forefront of technology and business. That is something that suits Singapore perfectly.”

Because the satellite will be designed to follow Earth’s rotation, it can provide 14 hours of uninterrupted coverage per day or for as long as there is daylight.

Image courtesy of the European Space Agency.

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