Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) and Airbus signed a contract for SSC ground segment support services to the new Pléiades Neo constellation of very high resolution Earth Observation satellites. The first two Pléiades Neo satellites will be launched in mid-2020, followed by a second pair in 2022. They will join the existing Airbus constellation of optical and radar satellites.
SSC will provide comprehensive ground segment support for the Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP) as well as routine on-orbit support for Telemetry, Tracking and Control (TT&C) and data reception. The core SSC ground network for Pléiades Neo will consist of the unique dual polar ground station solution of Kiruna, Sweden, and Inuvik, Canada—often referred to as “Kinuvik” as it is operated as a virtual single polar station. The partnership also includes an option to provide potentially higher data volumes at a later stage, using the southern hemisphere station of Punta Arenas, Chile.