US: Airbus Defense and Space and its client GeoNorth have inaugurated the first commercially available multi-satellite Direct Receiving Station (DRS) in the world, set to give a host of new markets quick access to both high-resolution and very high-resolution optical and radar satellite imagery.
The DRS in Fairbanks, Alaska, will give GeoNorth the capability of priority tasking the Airbus Defense and Space satellite constellations to capture imagery anywhere on the globe and downlink data to its processing terminal. It draws on SPOT (5 and 6, and soon 7), Pléiades (1A and 1B), TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X satellites — with resolutions across optical and radar products ranging from 0.25m to 40m.
New customers, including small-scale customers who previously did not have such rapid access to such information, will be able to collect and downlink data in an instant. The GeoNorth DRS is set to bring in a wider range of clients and contracts for both companies given that GeoNorth is an Alaska Native Corporation – a status that among other benefits gives it procurement preference in the US.
The new DRS will have applications for the North American market, in particular for major business areas in Alaska, including: oil, gas & mining; infrastructure development; fisheries and ice monitoring.
This new DRS bring the number of stations in the Airbus Defense and Space DRS network to nearly 40. The network allows customers to downlink imagery instantly each time a satellite passes over the stations, thereby ensuring rapid delivery of fresh data and services in near-real time. In addition, the ability to more frequently download images frees up memory on-board the satellites and as such increases acquisition capacity.
Source: Airbus Defense and Space