Posted on December 10th, 2012

Pléiades 1A Shows its Extreme Tasking Prowess

Pléiades One Day: a high-profile operation on July 4, 2012 to demonstrate Pléiades 1A’s exceptional daily acquisition capability.

Pléiades 1A was tasked to perform 45 acquisitions using different or conflicting scenarios, including 2 persistent surveillance acquisitions of 12 consecutive images. In all, 541 scenes were collected over all 5 continents.

Several of the most impressive acquisition scenarios from July 4th are detailed below.

A map of the collections made by Pléiades 1A on July 4th.

Persistent Surveillance

12 consecutive images were acquired of Tripoli, Libya’s capital.

This imaging mode is ideal for tracking moving targets like small vehicles and gauging their trajectory, speed and heading.

Caracas in Venezuela was also imaged 12 times from the same orbit to reveal hidden zones behind buildings.

Strip Mapping

In this mode, all strips of an area of interest are acquired in a single pass.

Four strips were acquired of São Paulo, covering an area of the city nearly 80 km wide, and were used to create a high-resolution urban map.

Strip Mapping mode makes it easier to compile mosaics automatically because radiometry and brightness levels stay relatively constant.

A preview of the 80-km wide collections made by Pléiades 1A on July 4th over São Paulo, Brazil.

Tri-stereo + Strip Mapping

For 3D applications, Stereo/Tristereo acquisitions enable mapping of terrain relief.

To cover Rome, Italy in 3D with 6 images, the satellite was tasked to combine two acquisition scenarios: Tristereo and two Strip Mapping scenes.

Latitude & Longitude Conflicts

6 major Baltic cities were imaged even though their latitudes’ and longitudes’ are close.

Pléiades 1A’s agility was able to overcome this obstacle, imaging Helsinki, Finland; Riga, Latvia; Saint-Petersburg, Russia; Stockholm, Sweden; Tallinn; Estonia; and Vilnius, Latvia on the same pass.

A preview of the six Baltic cities imaged by Pléiades 1A on July 4th.

For more information about Pléiades 1A, contact the Apollo Mapping sales team at

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