The RapidEye Constellation was successfully launched in August 2008 from Baikonur, Kazakhstan on a DNEPR-1 rocket. The constellation consists of five Earth Observation satellites that carry an identical sensor and travel on the same orbital plane. This unique feature allows for identical image quality from each of the satellites and delivery of multi-temporal data sets in near-real time. Collectively, the satellites can image more than five million square kilometers of the Earth daily with a nominal pixel size of five meters. Imagery is collected in five spectral bands: blue, green, red, red-edge and near infrared.
The red-edge band measures variances in vegetation, allowing for species separation and the monitoring of vegetation health. RapidEye was the first commercial company to offer this band, which is helpful to the agriculture and forestry industries.