Germany is in the midst of completing a five satellite network (SAR-Lupe)
of birds equipped with radar, that can produce photo-like images, in any
weather, with one meter (40 inch) resolution. Three of the satellites are in
orbit (500 kilometers up), with two more to be launched (by Russia). The first
three were launched in the last two years, and the network will be complete by
next year. The 1,700 pound satellites have a useful life of ten years, and
cover the entire planet. This is Germany's first satellite reconnaissance
system, which will be used for military and civilian purposes.