Lockheed Martin forms alliance to pursue high-resolution remote sensing satellite opportunities with Turkey
SUNNYVALE, CA, 01-DEC-00 -- In an effort to expand its award-winning, cost-effective IKONOS satellite technology in the international marketplace, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company has formed an alliance with Space Imaging and Cukurova Holding/INTA to provide the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) with high-resolution remote sensing capabilities. The IKONOS high-resolution satellite technology is ideally suited to meet the current and future high-resolution needs of the Turkish Government, said Ed Irvin, director of commercial remote sensing programs for Lockheed Martin. We are proud to cooperate with Space Imaging and Cukurova in addressing critical Turkish Government imaging needs, including defense, urban planning and disaster preparedness and response.
Forming a strategic alliance with satellite producer Lockheed Martin and earth imagery satellite operator Space Imaging will enable the TAF to acquire an earth imagery satellite at higher resolutions with better technical characteristics, said Mehmet Sepil, Chief Executive Officer of Cukurova / INTA Space Systems, Inc. This alliance will also enable the TAF to recover their investment by selling unused capacity of their satellite to Cukurova/INTA for worldwide imagery distribution.
To satisfy the immediate, near-term and long-term operational needs of the TAF in a cost-effective manner, the Lockheed Martin alliance has recommended a phased program. The initial phase was recently agreed upon and will allow the TAF to immediately acquire high-resolution imagery through Cukurova Holding/INTA utilizing the IKONOS satellite that is circling the globe today.
In the first quarter of 2001, a Regional Operations Center, including a complete ground station with direct tasking access to the IKONOS satellite would be operational in Turkey by Cukurova Holding/INTA which is making a substantial investment to attract potential commercial and military users. Subject to an appropriate government-to-government agreement, the TAF can begin the process of procuring its own autonomous satellite system acquiring high-resolution international images.
Launched on Sept. 24, 1999, the IKONOS satellite is the most sophisticated remote sensing spacecraft ever operated for the commercial market, capable of photographing objects on the ground as small as one meter.
The technology is providing high-resolution black-and-white and multispectral digital pictures and other imagery. Multispectral images reveal information that cannot be seen with the naked eye, such as chlorophyll content, chemical composition, surface water penetration and the presence of oil leached from the seabed. Customers will be able to combine panchromatic and multispectral images to offer the advantages of both techniques.
Recently, Space Imaging's IKONOS satellite received the coveted Best of What's New Grand Award in the Aviation & Space category from Popular Science magazine. Earlier this year, the IKONOS satellite was also awarded The Industry Innovation Award in the Technology Category from the Society of Space Professionals International.
The spacecraft was designed and built at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company -- Missiles & Space Operations in Sunnyvale, Calif. Space Systems is a global leader in the design, development, test and production of space launch systems, ground systems, scientific spacecraft, satellites for commercial and government customers, fleet ballistic missiles and missile defense systems.