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Earth observation companies plan new satellites and seek new customers

12 Sep 2019, 22:07 UTC
Earth observation companies plan new satellites and seek new customers
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PARIS — As operators of Earth observation satellites prepare to update their fleets, with an emphasis on both improved resolution and revisit time, they disagree on how much demand there is for existing and new data.
Four companies that currently operate Earth observation satellites, from high-resolution optical spacecraft to synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites, discussed plans to deploy new satellites over the next several years to replace and upgrade their systems during a session at Euroconsult’s World Satellite Business Week here Sept. 12.
Maxar Technologies is developing the WorldView Legion system, a set of satellites smaller than its existing WorldView satellites but still able to provide high-resolution images. “We’re making a $600 million investment in building out a class of assets that takes advantage of enhancements in electronics, but maintains our optics,” said Tony Frazier, executive vice president of global field operations at Maxar.
The satellites will produce images with resolutions of 30 to 50 centimeters, but will provide high revisit times: as frequent as 15 revisits a day “over areas of the world that matter,” he said, something he said is of interest to its defense and intelligence customers in particular.
The company has disclosed limited details about how ...

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