Toulouse, France – Airbus has released a first collection of crisp, 30cm native resolution images of the recently safely and securely launched Pleiades Neo 3 satellite into orbit. The successful acquisitions and delivery of these early images mark the start of a new era for commercial and government geospatial applications requiring a high level of precision and the ability to see the smallest detail.
The Pléiades Neo 3 images, covering a variety of locations around the world and featuring various acquisition angles, offer an impressive level of detail. In one, it’s easy to count every block of limestone in the Pyramids of Giza, and even the number of visitors. The multi-layered construction of Castel Sant’Angelo over the years can also be seen in detail in another. Urban areas and modern architecture, and their great diversity, are clearly visible in the images of Shanghai, Dubai and Washington DC.
These already sharp images were acquired prior to the full radiometric and system calibrations and the quality will continue to improve over the coming months. Pléiades Neo 3 images are expected to be released in the third quarter of 2021, once these calibration steps are complete.
With the full capacity of the satellite available for commercial use, the very high-resolution, geometrically coherent Pléiades Neo 3 imagery will provide analysts with a high level of detail, including better visibility of small objects, such as vehicles and markings. Road. This level of object detection, recognition and identification provides more ground truth for image analysts and improves the reliability of machine learning capabilities. The new constellation will also provide higher geolocation accuracy and deeper spectral band information, allowing more information to be obtained for various applications.
The Pleiades Neo constellation will consist of four identical and very agile satellites, offering responsive tasks and intraday revisiting from any point on Earth. Fully funded, designed, manufactured, owned and operated by Airbus, each satellite will add half a million km² per day at a native resolution of 30cm.
The next step in the Pléiades Neo program is the launch of Pléiades Neo 4, which is already on the launch site in Kourou, French Guiana. Its launch is scheduled for summer 2021, followed by the launch of the Pléiades Neo 5 and 6, in 2022.