The number of countries in the overhead intelligence collection business is rapidly expanding.
Turkey has been interested in that capability for some time and has now named Telespazio to supply the electro-optical GokTurk system. It’s a turn-key contract, including launch. The 2 metric ton satellite should be launched in 2011 on a yet-to-be-named rocket. The system is supposed to be operational in 2012.
The exact system performance isn’t known, but Turkey wanted at least 0.8 meter resolution, with half-meter performance desired. In multi-spectral mode, resolution should be around 3.2 meters.
Meanwhile, Brazil also is ramping up its efforts. As part of a massive defense and aerospace agreement signed in December between Brazil and France, the French space agency, CNES, will provide assistance to a range of projects. One of the categories where the French are expected to assist is in the field of earth observation.