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Posted on May 7th, 2024

The May Pléiades 1 – Pléiades Neo Point of Interest – The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch in California

These two satellite images show colorful strips of flowers growing in fields at the middle of the farm. Resembling a rainbow, there are beautiful hues visible from above of red, orange, yellow, green, white and pink. There also are fields in earth tones of brown where there’s freshly tilled fields waiting for bulbs to pop through the ground, as well as green plots. The flower farm stretches between two urban sections and is bordered by roads. Image one is a 50-cm photo captured by Pléiades 1A on March 17, 2022. The second image is a 30-cm image captured by Pléiades Neo 3 on April 8, 2022. These images have custom processing and color balancing applied by Apollo Mapping. PLEIADES © CNES 2024, Distribution Airbus DS. 

In April, we looked at Schwerin Castle in Germany. This month for the Pléiades 1 – Pléiades Neo Point of Interest, we check out The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch in California.

About the Point of Interest: Nearly 85 years ago, Luther Gage, a horticulturist, settled in California during the early 1920s. He brought with him ranunculus seeds and planted them in fields next to a small vegetable farm owned by a neighbor. Several years later, that neighbor, Frank Frazee, decided to plant ranunculus and taught his son Edwin how to seed, cultivate and irrigate the pretty but not yet popular flower. At just 16, Edwin quit high school to work full-time on his father’s flower operation.

Although Edwin moved several times, he took his ranunculus along with his gladiolus. He ended up at the current site of The Flower Fields. The land owned by the Ecke Family of Encinitas had been used previously to grow poinsettias but in the 1960s, that operation moved to greenhouses. Paul Ecke Jr. and Edwin were both flower farmers and when Edwin was ready to retire in 1993, Paul convinced him to remain as a consultant so a new grower could carry on his years of important work. Another long-time flower-growing family joined the operation, Mellano and Company. Paul realized that tourism would help support the flower business financially and so The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch was born.

Fun Factoids: 1) The ranunculus is native to Asia Minor and a member of the buttercup family. The flowers originally were in shades of red and yellow. The array of colors available now were cultivated by Edwin Frazee years ago. 2) Today there are 13 colors available to the ranunculus, including one called picotee, which is a mix of variegated colors. 3) The Flower Fields has a retail store and an online presence at 4) Every year, thousands of visitors flock to the flower fields to see the gorgeous blooms. 5) Built and named in honor of Paul Ecke Jr., a barn at the flower farm can accommodate up to 200 guests for events, galas and weddings. 6) The best time to view the flowers is usually late March to early May. Of course, these dates can change if the bloom is either early or late due to weather conditions, etc.

The 50-cm Pléiades 1 High-Resolution Satellite Constellation

The Pléiades 1 constellation (or at least part of it!) 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 1 and Pléiades Neo for your next geospatial projects.

A variety of Pléiades 1 products are available from both a well-established 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 both of these satellite constellations.

The 30-cm Pléiades Neo High-Resolution Satellite Constellation

Pléiades Neo is our newest high-resolution satellite constellation. The first Neo satellite went up in April 2021 and the second in August of the same year. This 30-centimeter resolution constellation will add two more satellites in the next few months and upgrade from daily to intraday revisits. Pléiades Neo has six multispectral bands with 1.2-meter resolution, including a deep blue and two infrared bands, along with a 30-centimeter resolution panchromatic band.

The archive is growing every day, and the satellites are available for new collections, making Pléiades Neo the perfect solution for site monitoring. Check out our beautiful sample images in the Pléiades Neo gallery.

More sample images and technical information about Pléiades 1 can be found on our website here; while the same can be found here for the Pléiades Neo constellation.

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

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