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Posted on January 14th, 2012

Pleiades 1, Astrium’s High Resolution Satellite, Launches on December 16, 2011

50-cm resolution orthorectified products for applications requiring a high level of detail

  • A phased orbit and a daily revisit, combined with extreme agility, for information in record time
  • The first component of a four-satellite constellation, for an ideal match of detail, coverage and revisit

Following the recent success of the first Soyuz launch from the French Spaceport in Guiana, Astrium Services’ GEO-Information division, a leading global provider of geo-information products and services, is pleased to inform its customers and partners that Arianespace successfully launched Pléiades 1 on December 16th, 2011.

Pléiades 1 is the first component of a two high-resolution satellite system operated by Astrium Services. The Pléiades constellation 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 a 20-km footprint, 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 orthorectified products.

Astrium Services expects Pléiades imagery and services to be commercially available next arch 2012, approximately 3 months after the launch.

4 Satellites in the Next Two Years

The launch of Pléiades realizes the first step of a four-satellite true constellation combining a twice daily revisit capability with an ingenious range of resolutions. This upcoming constellation, operated by Astrium Services, is based on four satellites: Pléiades 1 and Pléiades 2, two high-resolution satellites delivering 50-cm ortho color products as a standard; and SPOT 6 and 7, designed to extend SPOT 5’s success to the 1.5-m product family. Phased on the same orbit, the constellation will enjoy unprecedented reactivity, with intra-day revisit capacity in both resolutions anywhere on the Earth. Multiple tasking plans per day result in an unrivaled optimization of data collection: unforeseen weather changes, as well as last-minute requests, which can be taken into account for a first-class level of service.

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.

For more information about the launch of Pléiades 1, contact an Apollo representative by phone at (720) 470-7988 or by email at

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