European aerospace major Airbus Defence and Space is making final preparations for the launch of SPOT-7, its new high-resolution earth observation satellite, onboard an Indian rocket June 30.
“The French satellite has been integrated on polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV-C23) that will place it into a 655 km sun synchronous orbit,” the company said in a statement here Wednesday.
The PSLV-C23 will be launched from the Indian spaceport at Sriharikota off the Bay of Bengal at 09.49 a.m. Monday.
The 714 kg SPOT-7 (satellite for observation of earth) will be placed diametrically opposite its twin satellite SPOT-6, which was also launched by an Indian rocket Sep 9, 2012 from Sriharikota, about 80 km northeast of Chennai.
“It took us three and a half years to design and manufacture the twin satellites system, a global benchmark, through the use of our expertise to enhance quality, speed of delivery and reduce the level of risk involved in the projects,” Space Systems head Francois Auque said in the statement.
Like SPOT-6, SPOT-7 can also quickly be pointed anywhere within an area of 1,500km of its position, while enabling daily revisits to any point on the globe, providing a total coverage of six million square kilometres every day.
“SPOT-7 will deliver imaging products with a resolution of up to 1.5 metres, improving the service provided by the SPOT-5 satellite, which has been in operation since 2002,” Auque said on the occasion.
The twin spacecraft complete the company’s constellation, which combines the high resolution and the very high resolution satellites Pleiades IA and Pleiades IB in the same orbit.
“The constellation will offer our customers a chance to access new applications with lead times. As a result, every point of the globe will be visible every day both in high resolution and very high resolution,” Auque said.
With a 10-year lifespan, SPOT-7 is equipped with a flash-type memory, as is SPOT-6, which was a world first for a commercial satellite at the time.
By comparison to the previous generation satellites, SPOT-7 offers 60 percent better performance and is two and a half times lighter, five times smaller and consumes three and half times less power.
Widely used in mass-market electronics, the new technology has proven that it meets the strict quality standards required for space missions and works in orbit.
The Euro 14-billion (USD 19 billion) aerospace division of Airbus group was formed by combining the business activities of Cassidian, Astrium and Airbus Military and employs about 40,000 people.
The state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will also be launching four other commercial satellites along with SPOT-7 as co-passengers on board the 230-tonne 44.4-metre rocket.
The four satellites are 14kg AISAT of Germany, NLS7.1 (Can-X4) and NLS7.2 (Can-X5) of Canada each weighing 15kg and the 7kg VELOX-1 of Singapore.
All going well, the 49-hour count down for the launch mission will commence at 8:49am June 28.
All the five satellites are being launched by the space agency’s commercial arm Antrix Corporation under agreements with the respective foreign agencies.