Airbus Defence and Space, the world’s second largest space company, is making final preparations for the launch of SPOT 7, its new high-resolution Earth observation satellite. In the next few days, it will be integrated on the PSLV launcher that will place it in orbit from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, India. SPOT 7 has a service life of 10 years.
“It took just three and a half years to design and manufacture the SPOT 6 and 7 satellite system, a record time. This has made the SPOT 6 and SPOT 7 programme a global benchmark, through the use of our technological expertise to enhance quality, speed of delivery and reduce the level of risk involved in the projects,” said Head of Space Systems François Auque.
Compared with previous SPOT missions, the performance of the ground segment and the satellites themselves has been significantly improved, particularly with regard to responsiveness – from satellite programming through to the delivery of data to users – and acquisition capacity.
SPOT 7 will deliver imaging products with a resolution of up to 1.5 metres, thereby improving the service provided by the SPOT 5 satellite, which has been in operation since 2002. It will join its twin, SPOT 6, which was launched at the end of 2012, to complete Airbus Defence and Space’s globally unique constellation, which combines these two high-resolution satellites and the two very-high-resolution satellites Pleiades 1A and Pleiades 1B in the same orbit.
Every point of the globe will be visible every day both in high resolution and very high resolution. While the SPOT satellites will provide images over large areas, the Pleiades satellites will be able to deliver products that “zoom in” on these same areas, i.e. with a more restricted field of view but in far greater detail (50 cm).
Based on the Astrobus platform designed by Airbus Defence and Space, SPOT 7 offers unparalleled performance compared with the previous generation and is also four times lighter (weighing 720 kg to SPOT 5’s three tonnes). The Astrobus platform is being used for a variety of missions that include imaging (Pleiades, SPOT 6/7, Ingenio etc), environmental monitoring and meteorology (Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-5P).
Source: Airbus Defence and Space