This week, the community of Earth observation data users gather at the Living Planet Symposium to explore the latest progress in Earth observation satellites and data.
At the symposium there is a designated session on 24 May to present several very high resolution (VHR) missions, whose data are delivered through ESA’s Third Party Mission Programme (TPM). One presentation will focus on Pléiades Neo, a fully European constellation from Airbus consisting of four Earth observation satellites providing 30 cm optical imagery. There will also be an agora session explaining how Pléiades Neo can be leveraged for defence and security applications.
As of February 2022, Pléiades Neo satellite 30 cm data have been added to ESA’s Earthnet Programme data offering. For over a decade, ESA has already been facilitating access to Pléiades 50 cm VHR data free-of-charge, to the scientific community through this programme.
Pléiades is owned and operated by Airbus Defence and Space on behalf of CNES and in the context of ESA Earthnet, it provides VHR commercial satellite imagery for scientific, research and pre-operational Earth Observation based applications.
Pléiades recently celebrated its ten-year milestone and is part of ESA’s Third Party Missions programme, in which ESA has an agreement to distribute products from the satellites to TPM users for research and development of pre-operational applications.
In 2021, the fleet was enhanced with two new Pléiades Neo satellites, with two further satellites planned to be launched at the end of 2022 with Vega C.
As well as providing an improved image resolution of 30 cm, the major advantage of the new agile Pléiades Neo constellation is its enhanced revisit frequency and the tasking at each orbit. The new Pléiades Neo data offering is available through Airbus’ OneAtlas proprietary data access platform.
ESA’s Simonetta Cheli, Director of Earth Observation Programmes, said, “We are delighted to announce that Pléiades Neo data are now available to the scientific user community as part of the Third Party Mission Programme. The newly available VHR data marks a new era for commercial and government geospatial applications providing a high level resolution and accuracy and responsiveness.”
Francois Lombard, Director of the Intelligence Business at Airbus Defence and Space, added: “I warmly thank ESA for its long-lasting trust, allowing Europe’s excellent scientific community to access our data for many years. We are extremely happy to see our new Pléiades Neo fleet added to this programme, which will bring a lot in terms of resolution with 30 cm, agility and capacity to help further improve research and development.”
Find out more about the Pléiades data products ESA offer: