16 December 2013 – Astrium, the world’s second largest space company, signed with GeoNorth, LLC for the first multi-mission Direct Receiving Station (DRS), with a unique offering of both high-resolution and very high-resolution optical and radar satellite imagery capabilities. This new contract brings to nearly 40 the number of stations in the Astrium Services DRS network – the largest worldwide.
The agreement will give GeoNorth the unparalleled capability of priority tasking the Astrium Services satellite constellations to capture imagery anywhere on the globe and downlink data to its processing terminal located at the Alaska satellite facility in Fairbanks. It provides for a multi-satellite DRS that will draw on the SPOT (5 and 6), Pléiades (1A and 1B), TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X satellites – with resolutions across optical and radar products ranging from 0.25m to 40m.
“GeoNorth is thrilled to be able to make such a significant announcement at this time in our company’s history,” said Brian Minster, GeoNorth’s co-founder and General Manager. “The addition of optical and radar remote sensing capture and processing capabilities complements and expands our existing geospatial technologies expertise. This will allow us to continue to service our clients at the highest level and provide true value added services unmatched in today’s industry.”
This is the ninth DRS contract Astrium Services has signed in 2013. These agreements establish either new DRS or upgrade existing DRS for compatibility with new satellites (SPOT 6, SPOT 7, TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X).
“We are very happy to count GeoNorth in our DRS club, not only as a new client, but also as the first multi-satellite radar and optical DRS operator,” said Bernhard Brenner, Executive Director of the GEO-Information business at Astrium Services. “The more Direct Receiving Stations there are in the world, the better it is for our customers as we are getting data into the hands of users faster than ever before.”
This extensive global DRS network means customers can downlink imagery instantly each time a satellite passes over the stations, thereby ensuring rapid delivery of fresh data and services in near-real time. In addition, the ability to more frequently download images frees up memory on-board the satellites and as such increases acquisition capacity. Astrium Services offers the broadest multi-sensor portfolio on the market in terms of resolution and responsiveness – as well as availability in all weather conditions.