Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL) has signed a contract with Airbus to provide high resolution optical data from the SSTL S1-4, an Earth Observation (EO) satellite that was launched in September of 2018.
SSTL will retain ownership and in orbit satellite operation and will lease imaging payload capacity to Airbus for the lifetime of the satellite, designed to be in excess of seven years. The new contract will contribute high resolution panchromatic and multi-spectral optical data into the Airbus portfolio which already includes image data from seven satellites manufactured by SSTL, the DMC Constellation and the TripleSat Constellation.
The SSTL S1-4 satellite has a mass of 450kg and is capable of acquiring multiple targets in one pass, using spot, strip and mosaic imaging modes and 45 degree off-pointing agility for a range of applications including urban planning, agricultural monitoring, land classification, natural resource management and disaster monitoring. The very high resolution imager on board the spacecraft has been designed and manufactured by SSTL and will acquire sub 1 meter resolution images in panchromatic mode and sub 4 meter resolution images in multi-spectral mode, with a swath width of about 20.8km.
Sarah Parker, Managing Director of SSTL, said the company is delighted with the performance of the SSTL S1-4 in orbit, demonstrated by the outstanding quality of the sub 1 meter resolution images of Tampa, Ho Chi Minh City and Chihuahua that the firm has just released. Additionally, Airbus is enhancing its imagery offering by leasing data capacity from the SSTL S1-4 and that service should start shortly.
Phil Brownnett, Head of UK Programs at Airbus Defence and Space, Intelligence, added the company welcomes the S1-4 data into the firm’s Intelligence portfolio to further enhance high-resolution coverage capabilities.