Airbus Defence and Space

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Airbus Defence and Space successfully completes in-orbit delivery of the SSOT satellite system

• The SSOT (Sistema Satelital para la Observación de la Tierra) is Chile’s first high resolution operational Earth observation system
• Airbus Defence and Space is the prime contractor for FASat Charlie, the Earth observation satellite of the SSOT system, which is Latin America’s most powerful with an image resolution of 1.45m
• Airbus Defence and Space is the world’s leading exporter of Earth observation satellites

27 March 2012 – Airbus Defence and Space’s teams have successfully completed the in-orbit delivery of the SSOT satellite system, which launched from the European spaceport in French Guiana on 16 December 2011.

In accepting delivery, the Chilean Air Force (FACh) confirmed that the conditions for the handover of the satellite, FASat Charlie, have been met in full within three months of its launch, thanks to its exceptional performance.

“Airbus Defence and Space is proud to have developed and delivered Latin America’s most powerful Earth observation satellite to the Chilean authorities and to have done so in optimum conditions, with performance matching perfectly the requirements and even exceeding the customers’ expectations” said Airbus Defence and Space CEO François Auque, who is in Chile for the FIDAE International Air and Space Fair. “This is a defining moment in Airbus Defence and Space’s long collaboration with Chile, which began in 2000. Far from marking its culmination, it is a stage in what we hope will become a wider and more intense partnership.”

The SSOT programme comprises a satellite and an operational ground segment based in Santiago, Chile. The satellite has a panchromatic resolution of 1.45 meters, representing unprecedented performance for a satellite weighing only 117 kg.

The 20 Chilean engineers operating it were trained at the Airbus Defence and Space site in Toulouse, where the system and satellite were developed and built.

SSOT is the latest satellite system to be exported by Airbus Defence and Space, the world’s leading exporter of Earth observation satellite systems. 

“Airbus Defence and Space is the world’s third-largest space company and the number one in Europe. Our expertise encompasses all space activities, from launchers to satellite systems, the manufacture of the most sophisticated Earth observation, scientific and telecommunications satellites, as well as related telecommunications and image-processing services and applications designed to benefit our customers” added François Auque.

“We are delighted to have had the opportunity to demonstrate our capabilities and consolidate our position as world leader in the Earth observation market. We are keen to continue working with the Chilean authorities and, beyond that, with the authorities of other countries in the region to help them identify the space solutions that are best suited to their needs.”

Airbus Defence and Space is playing an active role at FIDAE 2012, which is currently taking place in Santiago, participating in conferences on space that have brought together, under the auspices of the Chilean Air Force, representatives from space agencies across Latin America.


About Airbus Defence and Space

Airbus Defence and Space is the number one company in Europe for space technologies and the third in the world. In 2011, Airbus Defence and Space had a turnover close to €5 billion and 18,000 employees worldwide, mainly in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands.

Airbus Defence and Space is the sole European company that covers the whole range of civil and defence space systems and services.

Its three business units are: Airbus Defence and Space for launchers and orbital infrastructure; Airbus Defence and Space for spacecraft and ground segment;  Airbus Defence and Space for comprehensive fixed and mobile end-to-end solutions covering secure and commercial satcoms and networks, high security and broadcast satellite communications equipment and systems, and bespoke geo-information services, worldwide.

Airbus Defence and Space is a wholly owned subsidiary of AIRBUS Group, a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2011, the Group – comprising Airbus, Airbus Defence and Space, Cassidian and Eurocopter – generated revenues of € 49.1 billion and employed a workforce of over 133,000.


Press contacts:

Jeremy Close (Airbus Defence and Space UK)                                                         Tel.: +44 (0)1 438 77 3872

Gregory Gavroy (Airbus Defence and Space FR)                                                      Tel.: +33 (0) 1 77 75 80 32

Ralph Heinrich (Airbus Defence and Space GER)                                                     Tel.: +49 (0) 89 607 33971

Francisco Lechón (Airbus Defence and Space SP)                                                   Tel.: +34 91 586 37 41

Earth ObservationSSOT