The satellite will be built by SSTL to be ready for launch early in 2008 and will form part of the Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC). The satellite will provide imagery for commercial applications, for government use and for rapid-response following disasters.
According to a statement, the DMC is a unique international collaboration of member nations and, through this contract, Spain joins the existing countries – Algeria, China, Nigeria, Turkey and the UK – in the consortium.
Each member of the consortium owns and operates its own satellite whilst co-operating with the other members of the consortium. The model of co-operation is said to have significant benefits as it allows information generated on board one satellite to be used by other members of the consortium.
In 2005 the DMC joined the world’s major space agencies in adhering to the “International Charter: Space and Major Disasters”. Coordination of the DMC is undertaken by DMC International Imaging (DMCii). Since it became operational, the DMC has provided daily broad area image coverage during disasters such as hurricane Katrina and the Indian Ocean Tsunami.
This contract with SSTL will provide Deimos with an enhanced version of the DMC wide area imaging system. The new system will image 600km wide swaths of the Earth in three spectral bands at a ground resolution of 22 metres. The contract also covers the provision of the ground system to allow operation of the satellite from Valladolid, Spain.