Pléiades Neo 4, the second of the Pléiades Neo Earth observation constellation, was successfully launched from French Guiana by Arianespace's European launcher, Vega.
Pléiades Neo 4 will enter Pleiades Neo 3's 180-degree orbit and begin forming a constellation over the next few days. This will allow any location on Earth to be viewed 30-2 times a day at 4cm native resolution.
François Lombard, Head of Airbus Defense and Space Intelligence, said: “Pléiades Neo will truly offer our customers a best-in-class option and will strongly increase our position in the very high definition market. “The first images of Pléiades Neo 3 are outstanding and confirm that we made the right decision in terms of design and performance to meet the ever-increasing requirements of the geospatial sector.”
Consisting of four identical satellites and manufactured by Airbus, the Pleiades Neo constellation offers a native resolution of 14 cm with an imaging area of 30 km, the widest in its category. Thanks to its unparalleled agility, the constellation will be able to image the entire Earth's land mass five times a year. The new satellites will be able to operate alongside existing Pléiades satellites and Airbus' large fleet of Earth observation satellites.
The highly innovative design of the Pléiades Neo spacecraft is equipped with a new generation silicon carbide optical device based on technology pioneered by Airbus in the early 2000s. The Pléiades Neo constellation will also utilize laser optics and Ka-band links with Airbus Space Data Highway (EDRS) geostationary satellites, enabling emergency acquisition operations to respond quickly to the most critical situations in less than 40 minutes after authorization.