Oct 24, 2012– Toulouse, France (Techreleased) – Pléiades 1B, the second dual-use, very-high-resolution satellite in the Pléiades family built by Astrium for the French space agency CNES (prime contractor for the system and system architect), has left the Astrium Satellites facilities in Toulouse en route for its launch site in French Guiana.
Pléiades 1B will be lifting off at the end of November 2012 on board a Soyuz launch vehicle from the Sinnamary site at the Guiana Space Centre (CSG).
Pléiades 1B will be joining its twin, the Pléiades 1A satellite, which has given full satisfaction since its launch last December, at an altitude of 695 km in the same quasi-polar heliosynchronous orbit. Like its twin, Pléiades 1B will provide 50-centimeter products over a 20-kilometer footprint to the French and Spanish defence ministries, civil institutions, and to private users through Astrium Services, the exclusive distributor of Pléiades products for the civil market.
The Pléiades satellites offer major operational advantages to users thanks to their incomparable image acquisition capabilities (up to 900 images/day, daily revisit of a point anywhere in the world) combined with remarkable agility (rapid pointing), which makes it possible to image points out to 1500 km either side of nadir in multiple acquisition modes (stereo, mosaic, corridor, target).