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Posted on December 11th, 2012

Monthly Update on Astrium’s High Resolution Satellite, Pléiades 1A

Pléiades 1A has been in orbit since December 2011 and if you have not had a chance to check out any sample imagery, take a few moments and have a look at the gallery on our website. If you work with high resolution imagery, you should consider Pléiades 1A for your next geospatial project.

A variety of Pléiades 1A products are available from both a growing archive and as a new collection, including 50-centimeter (cm) pansharpened imagery and 50-cm panchromatic – 2-meter (m) 4-band multispectral bundles. We are happy to discuss the technical specifications, pricing and tasking options available with this new satellite constellation as Pléiades 1A will be joined in space by its twin, Pléiades 1B, later this year.

Working with Pléiades 1A for the past months, we have noticed that:

  • The imagery archive is already growing and is well targeted.
  • Astrium is able to deliver on their Pléiades 1A tasking feasibilities.
  • The data is crisp with excellent color saturation so that it is on par with competitors’ 50-cm satellites.

Tracking Pléiades 1A Collections Over Europe

In our October edition of The Geospatial Times, we examined the coverage collected by Pléiades 1A over North America since its launch. In this edition, we turn our attention to Europe where you find large area collections dotting the continent over major urban areas as well as over much of Russia. This time, we filtered for data with a 15% or less cloud cover specification as that is the standard for tasking Pléiades 1A; and then for images collected on and after June 4, 2012 (i.e. the official start date for commercial sales).

  • 2,961,532 sq kmof imagery collected over Europe since June 4, 2012
  • 1,425,741 sq kmof this imagery has 15% or less cloud cover (48.1% of the total collected)
  • On average, 264,026 sq kmof imagery with 15% or less cloud cover are imaged every 30 days over Europe
  • For reference, Germany covers 348,610 sq km

The screengrab above is taken from the Bing Aerial Imagery Analyzer from an area just southwest of Colorado Springs, Colorado. If you look closely at this screengrab, you will notice that some tiles have date ranges from 2001 to 2011 – in locations such as this, you should be suspect as to the quality of the metadata. After poking around this application, it seems that the most inaccurate dates are associated with the zooms that show large areas as opposed to the close-in zooms.

Pléiades 1A Sample Imagery

This month we feature stunning sample imagery collected by Pléiades 1A over Boa Vista, Brazil on October 8, 2012. We Photo Enhanced this 50-cm natural color imagery to improve its colors and sharpness and the results speak for themselves.

© CNES 2012, Distribution Astrium Services / Spot Image S.A., France, all rights reserved.

Our Contact Details For More Information About Pléiades 1A

The Apollo Mapping sales team can answer any questions you might have about Pléiades 1A. We can be reached anytime at (303) 993-3863 or

More sample images and technical information about Pléiades 1A can be found on our website here.

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