|Mission type||Earth observation|
|COSPAR ID||1A: 2011-076F|
|SATCAT no.||1A: 38012|
|Mission duration||5 years (planned)|
|Launch mass||970 kg (2,140 lb) each|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||1A: 02:03, December 17, 2011 (UTC)|
1B: 02:02, December 2, 2012 (UTC)
|Rocket||Soyuz STA with Fregat upper stage|
|Launch site||Guiana Space Centre-ELS|
|Perigee altitude||695 km (432 mi)|
|Apogee altitude||695 km (432 mi)|
The Pléiades constellation is composed of two very-high-resolution optical Earth-imaging satellites. Pléiades-HR 1A and Pléiades-HR 1B provide the coverage of Earth's surface with a repeat cycle of 26 days. Designed as a dual civil/military system, Pléiades will meet the space imagery requirements of European defence as well as civil and commercial needs.
Spot Image is the official and exclusive worldwide distributor of Pléiades products and services under a delegated public service agreement.
The two satellites operate in the same phased orbit and will be offset at 180° to offer a daily revisit capability over any point on the globe. The Pléiades also share the same orbital plane as the SPOT 6 and 7, forming a larger constellation with 4 satellites, 90° apart from one another.
Equipped with innovative latest-generation space technologies like fibre-optic gyros and control moment gyros, Pléiades-HR 1A and 1B will offer exceptional roll, pitch and yaw (slew) agility, enabling the system to maximize the number of acquisitions above a given area.
This agility coupled with particularly dynamic image acquisition programming will make the Pléiades system very responsive to specific user requirements. Individual user requests will be answered in record time, thanks to multiple programming plans per day and a state-of-the-art image processing chain. Performance at a glance:
|Resolution||Panchromatic: 50 cm|
|Multispectral: 2 m|
|Pansharpened: 50 cm,|
|Bundle: 50 cm PAN & 2 m MS|
|Footprint||20 km swath|
|Single pass mosaics up to 100 km x 100 km|
When satellite operations begin, four ground receiving stations will be deployed for the direct downlink and archiving of imagery data:
Regional receiving stations (fixed or mobile) will subsequently be installed at the request of users.
The Pléiades tasking plan will be refreshed and uploaded three times per day, allowing for last minute requests and the ability to utilize up-to-the-minute weather forecasts.
The Pléiades system is designed for a range of very-high-resolution (VHR, panchromatic: 50 cm), remote sensing applications. These include: