IKONOS was an imaging satellite of DigitalGlobe providing high-resolution imagery on a commercial basis. With IKONOS, 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 were unique among the commercial imaging satellites in that they allowed each international affiliate to operate its own ground station(s). These ground stations were assigned blocks of time on the satellite during which they could directly task IKONOS, and immediately receive the downlinked imagery for which they tasked. In addition to virtually instant data receipt, this allowed each affiliate to make the best use of local weather data. However, this capability was only available when the ground station was in contact with IKONOS.
Mission Facts and Figures