Wednesday, January 27, 2010

RapidEye Successfully Completes Imaging Campaign in Afghanistan

RapidEye, the only geospatial solutions provider to own and operate a constellation of five identical Earth Observation satellites, announced today that it has completed a baseline image campaign covering the Helmand river basin in Afghanistan. The project was requested with an imaging window from November 3rd to December 4th, 2009 with the majority of the collection taking place during a 10 day from November 18th to 28th.

Covering over 250,000 square kilometers, the Helmand river basin is the largest in Afghanistan, accounting for almost half of the country's territory. It is the world’s largest opium production region. The project was initiated to obtain baseline imagery maps and ground cover information prior to the beginning of the 2010 growing season.

Since the river basin contains the largest production of opium in Afghanistan, it is essential to understand growth patterns and estimate yields in this area as part of the United Nations (UN), US and other efforts to suppress production. The wholesale value of the opium trade in Afghanistan was estimated at about $3 billion USD in 2008. With its red-edge band and broad area coverage the RapidEye satellite constellation is ideally suited for collecting and characterizing agricultural fields and can contribute greatly to these efforts.

Timeliness and accuracy of information is key when providing frequent agricultural monitoring. The RapidEye constellation of five satellites has the unrivaled ability to image individual fields, counties, states or countries on a frequent revisit cycle. The Helmand river basin project reinforced these capabilities, as the area around and including Lahkar Gah, the capital city of Helmand, was collected seven times in 23 days. RapidEye’s satellites can collect up to 4 million square kilometers of Earth Observation imagery every day and revisit any region on Earth on a near-daily basis thus assuring quick and reliable coverage of large areas at high resolution.

The imagery covering the Helmand river basin is now available for purchase to clients and partners worldwide. Additionally, many more million kilometers of Earth Observation data can be accessed through the RapidEye Library, which contains their entire catalog of products including their most recently collected satellite imagery, or through the RapidEye Geodata Kiosk by visiting More information on RapidEye Products and Services can be found at the company’s website Inquiries may be directed via email to

About RapidEye
RapidEye is an ISO-certified geospatial information provider focused on integrating customized and industry specific solutions into the workflow of global customers in agriculture, forestry, energy, infrastructure, government, security and emergency. RapidEye experts and the satellite system – a constellation of five satellites capable of downloading over 4 million km² of high resolution, multi-spectral imagery per day, and a ground segment for processing and archiving data – allow for cost-effective customized services. The unique combination of large area coverage, high spatial resolution and the possibility of daily revisit to an area provide for superior management information solutions. Currently, more than 120 experts from more than 20 countries are employed by RapidEye, with plans to grow the team to 130 within the next few months.

RapidEye benefits from a public-private partnership with the Space Agency of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), which is supported by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. RapidEye is also co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the State of Brandenburg in Germany. For more information on ERDF please contact

For more information about RapidEye, please visit

Download RapidEye's satellite image of the city of Lashkar Gar in Afghanistan.


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