Encyclopedia Astronautica
Ofeq 3



ofeq3.jpg
Ofeq-3
Israeli military surveillance satellite. 4 launches, 1995.04.05 (Ofeq-3) to 2006.04.25 (EROS-B). Ofeq 3 was Israel's second-generation imaging surveillance satellite.

The spacecraft was an advance over the previous Ofeq designs, but was not capable of offering significant military-grade imagery. The satellite was believed to deliver imagery in the visible and ultraviolet bands with resolutions of approximately 1 meter.

The spacecraft's 3-axis control system provided 0.1 deg astronomical-class pointing accuracy. Data rate was 15 kbit/sec; command rate 5 kbit/sec. Payload mass was officially noted as 36 kg. Power was provided by twin 3-panel solar wings totaling 3.6 m. Rafael provided the blowdown Hydrazine Propulsion Module for despin from 65 rpm, final orbit positioning, stationkeeping and momentum wheel unloading. There were two branches of six 5 N and one 25 N thrusters. Very little information was available on the payloads carried. The follow-on Amos satellite costs were projected as 7 units at $ 60 million each.

Gross mass: 189 kg (416 lb).
Height: 2.40 m (7.80 ft).
First Launch: 1995.04.05.
Last Launch: 2006.04.25.
Number: 4 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Shavit Satellite launcher derived from Jericho II MRBM, essentially identical to South African RSA-3. NEXT was a variant with an improved upper stage for proposed launch from Wallops Island, USA (launch from Israel is only possible into retrograde orbits since due East launch would be over territory of adjacent countries). More...
  • Topol Containerised all-solid propellant Nadiradze ICBM designed for launch from mobile and silo launchers. Replaced UR-100/UR-100NU in silos. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Topol Russian containerised all-solid propellant intercontinental ballistic missile designed for launch from mobile and silo launchers. Replaced UR-100/UR-100NU in silos. More...
  • Shavit Israeli all-solid orbital launch vehicle. Satellite launcher derived from Jericho II MRBM, essentially identical to South African RSA-3. More...
  • Start-1 Russian orbital launch vehicle. Launch vehicle based on decommissioned ICBM's. Launched from mobile transporter. Liftoff mass 47 tonnes. More...
  • Shavit 1 Israeli all-solid orbital launch vehicle. Shavit 1 is an improved version of the original Shavit with a stretched first stage motor. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • IAI Israeli manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Israel Aircraft Industries, Israel. More...

Associated Programs
  • Offeq Israeli indigenous satellite series. Launching organization: Israel Aircraft Industries, Ltd (IAI) and Israeli Space Agency (ISA). Function of first Offeqs: 1) Experimentation in generation of solar power; 2) Experimentation in transmission reception from space; 3) Verification of system's ability to withstand vacuum and weightless conditions; 4) Data collection on space environment conditions and Earth's magnetic field. Later models provided military optical and electronic reconnaissance services. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Report (Internet Newsletter), Harvard University, Weekly, 1989 to Present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • JPL Mission and Spacecraft Library, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1997. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA/GSFC Orbital Information Group Website, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Space-Launcher.com, Orbital Report News Agency. Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Palmachim Israeli coastal missile test site from which the Shavit satellite launch vehicle is also launched. A due-west launch over the Mediterranean is required to avoid overflying Arab countries, resulting in unique orbital inclinations and directions.

    The site was known to have been used for 40 launches from 1987 to 2007. More...

  • Svobodniy Headquarters of an RVSN Division, 1961-1994, equipped with 90 light ICBM (UR-100) silos. The number of operational silos declined to 60 by 1993. The break-up of the Soviet Union left the main Russian cosmodrome on foreign territory (Baikonur, in Kazakhstan). The Northern Cosmodrome at Plesetsk did not have facilities for large launch vehicles and was not suited for support of launches into lower-inclination orbits. Therefore Svobodniy Cosmodrome, located 7,777 km east of Moscow, was established as the Second State Space Trials Launch Centre (GIK-2) on 2 February 1996. More...

Ofeq 3 Chronology


1995 April 5 - . 11:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Palmachim. LV Family: Shavit. Launch Vehicle: Shavit 1. LV Configuration: Shaviyt 1 3.
  • Ofeq-3 - . Mass: 189 kg (416 lb). Nation: Israel. Agency: ISA. Program: Offeq. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: Ofeq 3. Decay Date: 2000-10-24 . USAF Sat Cat: 23549 . COSPAR: 1995-018A. Apogee: 694 km (431 mi). Perigee: 366 km (227 mi). Inclination: 143.4000 deg. Period: 94.50 min.

1998 January 22 - . 12:56 GMT - . Launch Site: Palmachim. LV Family: Shavit. Launch Vehicle: Shavit 1. LV Configuration: Shaviyt 1 4. FAILURE: Launch vehicle failed during second stage burn.. Failed Stage: 2.
  • Ofeq-4 - . Nation: Israel. Agency: ISA. Manufacturer: IAI. Program: Offeq. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: Ofeq 3. COSPAR: F980122A. Summary: Fell in Mediterranean Sea..

2000 December 5 - . Launch Site: Svobodniy. Launch Complex: Svobodniy LC5. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Start-1.
  • EROS A1 - . Mass: 240 kg (520 lb). Nation: Israel. Agency: ImageSat. Manufacturer: IAI. Class: Surveillance. Type: Civilian surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: Ofeq 3. USAF Sat Cat: 26631 . COSPAR: 2000-079A. Apogee: 542 km (336 mi). Perigee: 533 km (331 mi). Inclination: 97.6000 deg. Period: 95.40 min. Launch delayed from November 28. The Israeli commercial imaging satellite EROS A1 was owned by ImageSat (an Israeli-led company registered in the Netherlands Antilles) and built by IAI using the Ofeq-3 design. EROS A1 was placed in a sun-synchronous orbit together with the DS 5th stage. The 250 kg (dry mass) triaxially stabilized spacecraft carried a black and white high resolution (1.8 m) CCD camera, to obtain images (with terrain width of 12.6 km) of locations chosen by Israeli military or world-wide commercial clients, and downlink them at one of the 14 ground stations.

2006 April 25 - . 16:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Svobodniy. Launch Complex: Svobodniy LC5. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Start-1. LV Configuration: Start-1 No. 441.
  • EROS-B - . Mass: 350 kg (770 lb). Nation: Israel. Agency: ImageSat. Manufacturer: IAI. Class: Surveillance. Type: Civilian surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: Ofeq 3. USAF Sat Cat: 29079 . COSPAR: 2006-014A. Apogee: 514 km (319 mi). Perigee: 505 km (313 mi). Inclination: 97.3000 deg. Period: 94.80 min. Summary: Combined civilian/military imaging satellite operated by an Israeli company incorporated in the Cayman Islands. Its capability was demonstrated when, within days of launch, sharp photographs of people and motor vehicles on a Syrian dam were released..

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