Astrium Spain is the prime contractor, responsible for developing and building the satellite, systems engineering, as well as satellite integration and testing activities, satellite validation, and placing into orbit in a fully operational state.
The PAZ satellite will be equipped with an X-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) instrument, mounted on a TerraSAR-X recurrent platform, a hexagonal carbon-fibre structure. The platform will be provided by Astrium in Germany. The instrument’s radar antenna will incorporate printed-radiator technology developed by Astrium at its Madrid-Barajas site which has already been successfully used on other programmes such as Envisat, Spainsat, Inmarsat and Galileo.
The estimated mass of the satellite is 1,200kg, and its solar array will generate power of 850W. The instrument’s printed-radiator planar phased-array radar will be 4.8m long and 0.7m wide. It will be designed to offer different modes of operation, with different swath widths, and various resolutions of up to a metre.
Launch of the satellite is scheduled for 2013. PAZ will circle the Earth 15 times a day in a sun-synchronous polar orbit, at an altitude of 505km. It will be able to supply an average of 200 images a day, covering an area of around 300,000km2.