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Astrium to launch constellation of EO satellites

France: Astrium Services’ GEO-Information division, a leading global provider of geo-information products and services, announced that it will launch an optical earth observation (EO) satellite, Pléiades 1, on December 16, 2011. Pléiades 1 is the first component of a two-satellite system operated by Astrium Services.

In addition, the company informed that the launch of Pléiades is the first step towards a constellation of four-satellites. It aims to develop revisiting capability twice everyday with an ingenious range of resolutions. This upcoming constellation will be based on four satellites: Pléiades 1 and Pléiades 2, and SPOT 6 and 7. The SPOT series satellites are designed to extend SPOT 5’s success to the 1.5-m product family.

With four optical and radar satellites in orbit and four new imaging satellites to launch over the next two years, Astrium Services, through its extensive geo-information range of products and services is gearing up to bring its customers the best that space technology has to offer, ensuring continuity of service up to 2023.

About the Pléiades series of satellites, the company claimed that it will provide 50-cm optical products in record time, offering daily revisits to any point on the globe and acquisition capabilities tailored to meet the full spectrum of civil and military requirements. With 20km, the Pléiades satellites have the widest imaging swath in their class. The satellite’s extreme agility coupled with multiple acquisition modes makes the system very responsive to specific user requirements. In addition, automated production flowlines help fast delivery of ortho-rectified products.

Astrium Services expects Pléiades imagery and services to be commercially available next March, approximately 3 months after the launch.

Source: Astrium