Earth Imaging Journal: Remote Sensing, Satellite Images, Satellite Imagery
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December 2, 2014
Airbus Defence and Space Announces the Commercial Launch of SPOT 7 Satellite

Dec. 2, 2014—SPOT 7, the Earth-observation satellite designed and built by Airbus Defence and Space, is commercially launched today, making its high-resolution imagery available to all users. Together with SPOT 6, Pléiades 1A & 1B, TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X, SPOT 7 makes Airbus Defence and Space the first operator in the world to offer customers a full palette of Earth-imaging data spanning multiple resolution and spectral wavelengths.

This satellite constellation opens up opportunities for many applications, providing the latest images within an unprecedented time frame. With the joined and integrated operation of SPOT 6 and SPOT 7 the acquisition capacity is boosted to six million square kilometres per day – an area ten times the size of France. This means that every day, every point on the globe can be viewed both in high-resolution by a SPOT satellite and in very high-resolution by a Pléiades satellite. While SPOT 6 and SPOT 7 cover wide areas with a resolution of 1.5m, Pléiades 1A and 1B focus on more targeted zones with a greater level of detail (50cm products). And for guaranteed monitoring, surface motion or for frequently cloud covered areas, TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X can dependably acquire very high-resolution (from 0.25m to 40m products) and wide-area radar images independent of the weather conditions.

The completion of this unique constellation also represents an opportunity for Airbus Defence and Space to establish a new cooperation with the Azerbaijani satellite operator Azercosmos, for a joint use of the SPOT satellites.

The contract is a long-term cooperation which includes the transfer of ownership of the SPOT 7 satellite to Azercosmos, the provision of a ground segment for the exploitation of the satellite and a sound training program for operational capacities development. It also encloses a commercial agreement related to the distribution of SPOT 6 and SPOT 7 data to respective customers of both parties.

Evert Dudok, Head of Communications, Intelligence and Security (CIS) Business Line at Airbus Defence and Space, said: “It is a great success to have such an agreement with Azercosmos, offering a high potential for satellite imagery and geo-information applications. This cooperation will allow a business and operational model which is new and very innovative for us while assuring business continuity with our customers.”

As an established player in satellite manufacturing and service provider, Airbus Defence and Space is pleased to work with Azerbaijan to build its ambitious Space Program. This collaboration is an opportunity for Azercosmos to build up its own life experience both in operating a satellite and in serving commercial market immediately.

Rashad Nabiyev, Azercosmos CEO, noted: “This agreement is an important step taken by Azercosmos to diversify our satellite services and bring additional value into the economy of Azerbaijan; and we are glad to have such a collaboration with Airbus Defence and Space that will support us along with this challenging journey.”

Airbus Defence and Space will continue to provide full access to the SPOT 6 and 7 capacities and will deliver an unchanged commercial service to its worldwide customers, giving them a trustful gate to the right imagery on the right time for their projects.

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