Earth observation satellite returns first images

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e2v CCD imaging sensors on board Astrium’s SPOT 6 Earth observation satellite, have successfully returned their first images.

Launched on the 9 September 2012, SPOT 6 is a high-resolution optical Earth observation satellite built by Astrium. The satellite will join the already orbiting, very high resolution, Pleiades 1A and by 2014, Pleiades 2B (both of which are equipped with e2v imaging sensors) to form a complete optical constellation. It means that all points of the globe will be seen every day once in high resolution and once in very high resolution. The resulting imagery will be distributed by Astrium Services for use in national and defence mapping, agriculture, deforestation and environment monitoring, maritime and coastal surveillance, civil engineering, and oil, gas and mining industries.

e2v supplied CCD imaging sensors which equip the satellite’s Astrium-built Naomi camera. The image sensors were produced using the latest generation of technologies including: Time Delay Integration (TDI) and stage selections, high integration level, and high sensitivity, back side illumination.

Michel Tulet, head of the detection department within the Optical Instruments Division at EADS Astrium, France, said: ‘We are fully satisfied with the performances delivered by the detectors developed by e2v for Astrium. Thanks to more than 20 years of cooperation on ambitious programmes, our teams have acquired a strong mutual knowledge resulting in a close and very fruitful cooperation. This allows the best to be offered in terms of performance and cost effectiveness for the Naomi instrument product family. Three Naomi instruments are now already delivering high-quality images from low Earth orbit and four others will join them in the coming months.’

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