Airbus Defence and Space

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The International Paris Air Show, as seen by satellite

19 June 2013 – The Pléiades satellite, built and operated by Airbus Defence and Space, Europe’s leading space technology company, has just captured this image of the 50th International Paris Air Show (SIAE) at Paris - Le Bourget.

Pléiades 1A and 1B are Europe’s first very-high-resolution Earth-observation satellites, and are positioned 180° apart in the same quasi-polar heliosynchronous orbit, at an altitude of 695 km. They offer exceptional performance in the civil market: 50 cm products over a 20 km footprint and excellent flexibility (rapid pointing) allowing multiple acquisition modes (stereo, mosaic, corridor, target). Thanks to their unparalleled ability to acquire 900 images a day, they also offer major operational advantages to users.

The SPOT 6 and SPOT 7 constellation will operate in conjunction with Pléiades and will offer 1.5 m resolution data over larger imaging swaths (60 km) for mapping very large areas. The Pléiades (1A and 1B) and SPOT 6 and 7 constellations will be stationed at equidistant points in the same orbit around the Earth, making Airbus Defence and Space the first operator in the world able to offer a complete range of Earth-observation data at different resolutions (from medium to very high resolution). What this means is that every point of the globe will now be visible in high and very-high resolution on a daily basis.

It is this daily revisit capability that makes geo-information services a reliable part of the strategic and economic decision-making process, offering Airbus Defence and Space’ customers a number of advantages. These are as follows: speedier access to images (war and crisis zones and natural disaster areas are visible in a matter of hours, anywhere in the world); the provision of images on a regular basis, enabling, for example, daily monitoring of activity at a specific location (rate of progress of civil engineering projects, surveillance of a military, industrial or mining sites, etc.); and twice the number of images (images are acquired twice as fast and with twice the chance of a cloud-free image being captured, making it the ideal configuration for mapping large areas).

To download high-resolution images please visit:


Press contact:

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

Airbus Defence and SpaceEarth ObservationPléiades