Airbus has released a first collection of sharp images at 30cm native resolution of the Pléiades Neo 3 satellite, recently launched safely and securely into orbit. The successful acquisitions and delivery of these first images herald a new era for commercial and government geospatial applications requiring a high level of precision and the ability to see fine detail.
The Pléiades Neo 3 images, covering a variety of global sites and presenting various acquisition angles, offer an impressive level of detail. In one, it’s easy to count every limestone block of the Giza pyramids, and even the number of people visiting. 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 very sharp images were acquired before full radiometric and system calibrations and the quality will continue to improve over the coming months. The Pléiades Neo 3 images should be marketed in the third quarter of 2021, once these calibration steps have been completed.
With the full capacity of the satellite available for commercial use, the very high resolution and geometrically consistent 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, providing more information for various applications.
The Pléiades Neo constellation will be composed of four identical and very agile satellites, offering a reactive task and an intraday revisit 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 30cm native resolution.
The next step in the Pléiades Neo program is the launch of Pléiades Neo 4, which is already at the launch site in Kourou, French Guiana. Its launch is scheduled for this summer, followed by the launch of the Pléiades Neo 5 and 6, in 2022.