India: Airbus Defence and Space 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.
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.
SPOT 6 and SPOT 7 are agile satellites that can quickly be pointed anywhere within an area of 1,500 km of their position, while also enabling daily revisits to any point on the globe, providing a total coverage of six million square kilometres every day.
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).
Source: Airbus and Defence