Ikonos-2 is an imaging satellite of GeoEye (formerly Space Imaging Inc., before the acquisition by ORBIMAGE) providing high-resolution imagery on a commercial basis. With Ikonos-2, a new era of 1m spatial resolution imagery began for spaceborne instruments in the field of civil Earth observation. The Ikonos satellite system was built by LMMS (Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space) of Sunnyvale, CA (USA).
The spacecraft operations of Ikonos-2 are unique among the current commercial imaging satellites in that they allow each international affiliate to operate its own ground station(s). These ground stations are assigned blocks of time on the satellite during which they can directly task Ikonos, and immediately receive the downlinked imagery for which they tasked. In addition to virtually instant data receipt, this allows each affiliate to make the best use of local weather data. However, this capability is only available when the ground station is in contact with Ikonos.
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