On 2 December 2012, a Soyuz rocket launched the Pléiades 1B very-high-resolution optical satellite built by Astrium for the French space agency CNES from the Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana, less than a year after orbiting Pléiades 1A.
Astrium Services will be the exclusive distributor of imagery from Pléiades 1A and 1B.
Pléiades 1B was released from the launch vehicle at 02.57 GMT/UTnear its final 694 km orbit, which it will reach within the next few days. The satellite will be phased 180° with Pléiades 1A on the same orbit to form a true constellation offering daily revisits to any point on the globe.
This daily revisit capability brings added value to users of satellite data products around the world. Being able to generate imagery anywhere in the world every day is vital for quick-response applications. With the Pléiades constellation, conflict and crisis zones or natural disaster areas will be viewable within hours to aid planning of relief and rescue operations.
Daily revisits also allow close monitoring of work progress on civil engineering projects, mining activities and industrial or military operations. And by bringing users twice as much imagery, the Pléiades satellites are ideal for mapping large areas at high resolution, as images are acquired twice as fast to increase the chances of obtaining cloud-free views.
The Pléiades constellation offers users products at a resolution of 50 cm with an imaging swath of 20 km, the widest in its category.
For more information about Pléiades, visit www.astrium-geo.com/Pleiades
Copyright 2011 Astrium