Airbus Defense and Space and its client GeoNorth have inaugurated the first commercially available multi-satellite Direct Receiving Station (DRS) in the world, set to give a host of new markets quick access to both high-resolution and very high-resolution optical and radar satellite imagery.
The DRS in Fairbanks, Alaska, will give GeoNorth the unparalleled capability of priority tasking the Airbus Defense and Space satellite constellations to capture imagery anywhere on the globe and downlink data to its processing terminal. It draws on SPOT (5 and 6, and soon 7), Pléiades (1A and 1B), TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X satellites – with resolutions across optical and radar products ranging from 0.25m to 40m.
New customers, including small-scale customers who previously did not have such rapid access to such information, will be able to collect and downlink data in an instant. The GeoNorth DRS is set to bring in a wider range of clients and contracts for both companies given that GeoNorth is an Alaska Native Corporation – a status that among other benefits gives it procurement preference in the US.
The new DRS will have applications for the North American market, in particular for major business areas in Alaska, including: oil, gas & mining; infrastructure development; fisheries and ice monitoring.
“Airbus Defense and Space welcomes GeoNorth both as a new partner and as the first multi-satellite radar and optical DRS operator,” said Bernhard Brenner, head of the Geo-Intelligence program line at Airbus Defense and Space. “The more ground terminals like this there are in the world, the better it is for our customers because we can provide them with data more quickly than ever before.”
This new DRS brings the number of stations in the Airbus Defense and Space DRS network, the largest worldwide, to nearly 40. The network allows customers to downlink imagery instantly each time a satellite passes over the stations, thereby ensuring rapid delivery of fresh data and services in near-real time. In addition, the ability to more frequently download images frees up memory on-board the satellites and as such increases acquisition capacity. Airbus Defense and Space offers the broadest multi-sensor portfolio on the market in terms of resolution and responsiveness – as well as availability in all weather conditions.
“We at GeoNorth are delighted to be able to inaugurate and operate this new Direct Receiving Station,” said Martin Hanofee, of GeoNorth. “The addition of optical and radar remote sensing capture and processing capabilities complements and expands our existing geospatial technologies expertise. We will continue to service our clients at the highest level while adding services unmatched in today’s industry.”