Posted on October 5th, 2021

Monthly Update on Pléiades Neo 3 and Neo 4 – Commissioning Phase is On Track!

Image 1: Get a look back in time at Athens, Greece. Image 2: Satellites aren’t just for Earth Observation, not when the Moon is begging for a photo shoot. Image 3: Arches National Park, Utah is an amazing landscape, made even more interesting from above. (Images Credit: Airbus Defense and Space)

As Airbus posts more sample images from Neo 3 and 4, we’re getting excited for the commercialization of the latest 30-centimeter (cm) high-resolution satellites in our growing constellation of commercial satellites. According to Airbus, “the commissioning phase for Pléiades Neo 3 and 4 is going well. Everything is on track for commercial availability to start in November.”

It’s rare for two identical satellites to launch back-to-back, and unheard of at 30-cm resolution. Airbus is poised to collect vast amounts of 30-cm data with a 14-kilometer swath width and six multispectral bands.

As we wait for full access to Neo 3 and 4, we can take a look at new samples. The image of Athens, Greece blends modern and historical architecture. Neo 4 set it’s sights on the Moon and took a gorgeous image of our nearest neighbor while it was on full display. Arches National Park in the United States is a fan favorite for all hiking abilities with its rugged, semi-arid climate and over 2,000 sandstone arches.

Now here are some key characteristics of Pléiades Neo 4:

  • Spectral Bands:
    • Panchromatic
    • 6 Multispectral Channels
      • Blue, green, red and NIR plus 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), 3.5-m expected with refined orbital data
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