Launching of the Pléiades-1 Satellite with SPACEBEL Software

It is during the night from December 16th to 17th that the first satellite of the Pleiades constellation will fly off into Space from the Kourou Space centre. SPACEBEL has contributed on a large scale to the implementation of these two Earth observation satellites of CNES, the French space agency.

The Pléiades programme based upon two optical satellites weighing a ton each is meant to satisfy the needs of both civil and military users. Planned for an operational lifetime of 5 years, both satellites will scrutinize our planet in order to gather images useful for agriculture, territory planning, natural disaster management, etc.  … They will also provide data on population movements as well as on the topography of conflict areas. By their size, their image resolution, their high agility in orbit and their capacity of retransmission to the ground, the Pléiades satellites represent a significant technological progress to which SPACEBEL is proud to bring its contribution.

SPACEBEL started to work on the Pléiades project from 2004 onwards with a first contract related to the design of the satellite’s on-board software intended for the control of both the platform and the scientific payloads. A year later, SPACEBEL was selected by CNES to take part in the development of the mission centre, which will centralize all requests for image acquisition, receive and process the on-board instrument data and provide these to the scientific world. SPACEBEL has been specifically in charge of the realization of two subsystems of the programming chain related to the payload management and the reception station management.
SPACEBEL also contributes to the mission engineering and intervenes in the simulation activities allowing amongst others to verify the good functioning of the satellite before its departure into Space.

Published December 16th, 2011