Pléiades Constellation Complete; Now Providing Daily Revisits

Last Friday, Astrium announced (via a smooth video that sounds like a commercial for a luxury car) that Pléiades 1B, which joined Pléiades 1A in space last December, has successfully completed its Technical Commissioning. This means that the two identical Pléiades satellites, which follow the same orbit 180 degrees apart, can now provide repeated imagery of any location on the Earth within 24 hours.  Astrium points out that this Pléiades constellation provides three benefits to the remote sensing community, 1) daily monitoring, 2) twice the opportunity to obtain cloud free imagery, and 3) fast tasking for urgent imagery needs.  The Pléiades systems acquire panchromatic imagery at 50-cm resolution, and 4-band multispectral imagery at 2-m resolution.

A reader for Pléiades Primary and Ortho data products was added to ENVI 5.0 with the second service pack (SP2). ENVI reads the associated metadata and RPC information, allowing you to easily calibrate and orthorectify Pléiades products.

The new Pléiades constellation was first used January 15 and 16 2013, to collect imagery of fires in Yerriyong State forest, 100 km east of Canberra, Australia.


A Pléiades 1B image acquired 15 January shows the extent of the Yerriyong State Forest fire that has burnt through 66,200 hectares of forest. At this point the fire is under control and no new fires have started. Image provided by Astrium.


24 hours later a new image collected by Pléiades 1A highlights at least 4 new active fire areas in the south. Image provided by Astrium.

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4 Responses to Pléiades Constellation Complete; Now Providing Daily Revisits

  1. Amit says:

    Pleiades acquires Pan band at 0.70m resolution not at 0.50m resolution.

    • Peg Shippert says:

      Astrium advertises that Pleiades pan imagery products have a 50 cm resolution. See, for example,, and the Pleiades User Guide that you can download from a link at that location. The User Guide explains that the Panchromatic images are acquired with a nadir resolution of 70 cm. A zooming factor is then applied, resulting in 50 cm resolution pixels, using a process that they say is effective thanks to a specific restoration method, developed and validated by CNES.

  2. Aw, this was a really nice post. Taking the time and actual effort to generate a great
    article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a lot and don’t seem to get nearly anything done.

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