Posted on September 7th, 2021

Another Milestone for Airbus’ Neo Constellation – A Successful Launch of Neo 4

Airbus celebrates another successful launch for their growing 30-cm 6-band Pléiades Neo constellation. Pléiades Neo 4 launched into orbit on August 16th, 2021 on Arianespace’s European launcher Vega from French Guiana. The new satellite joins Pléiades Neo 3 in an identical orbit but phased 180 degrees, thus ‘linking’ the first two satellites in the constellation for tandem imagery collections. With their phased approach, Neo 3 and Neo 4 will be able to collect daily imagery. Once all four satellites are in orbit, the constellation will be able to collect images of any place on Earth, two to four times a day. The constellation will expand with the addition of Pléiades Neo 5 and Neo 6 in 2022. The first public image from Neo 4 was collected over L’île aux Oiseaux in Arcachon Bay, France and is featured here.

L’île aux Oiseaux in Arcachon Bay, France is a protected area for over 150 bird species. (Image Credit: Airbus Defense and Space)

We expect archive data and tasking capabilities on Neo to be available to the public in Q4 of 2021, with Neo 4 following shortly thereafter. The Neo constellation boasts a 14-kilometer swath width and 30-cm resolution. Entirely manufactured, owned and operated by Airbus Defense and Space, the Neo constellation joins the Airbus family of 50-cm and 1.5-meter resolution satellites that will work in tandem to deliver the most up-to-date imagery to our clients.

Here are some key characteristics of Neo 4 which are identical to the already-launched first satellite in the constellation, Neo 3:

  • Spectral Bands:
    • Panchromatic
    • 6 multispectral channels (i.e. blue, green, red, NIR, deep blue and red edge)
  • Sensor Resolution:
    • At nadir – 30-cm panchromatic & 1.2-m multispectral
  • Footprint Width:14 km (at-nadir)
  • Direction: sun-synchronous
  • Equatorial Crossing Time: 10:30 AM local time (descending node)
  • Georeferenced Horizontal Accuracy: < 5-m CE90 (global average, dependent on terrain); expected 3.5-m CE90 with refined ephemeris data

If you have any questions about the Neo constellation, send us an email at [email protected] and we will get right back to you!

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