To start off 2023, the Chief of Staff of the French Air Force organized a colloquium on Very High Altitude Operations, meaning operations between conventional airplane altitudes, under 20km, and "orbital space" above 100km. It featured Air Force officials, but also the companies and research institutes involved in developing platforms able to fly at these… Continue reading France debates its near-space policy
The case for a French military constellation
High-altitude Pseudosatellites, the future of Earth observation?
Persistent observation, a persistent problem For all the improvements in spatial and spectral resolution, agility and accuracy, satellites suffer from one serious drawback: they have to follow the laws of orbital mechanics and keep moving around the Earth. This means they cannot hang around an interesting location, to keep a persistent watch on it, except… Continue reading High-altitude Pseudosatellites, the future of Earth observation?
Airbus’ SAR strategy
In November 2018, ESA held a series of talks on the future of Earth observation. It was part of the agency's "Φ-week" event and took place at ESA’s Earth observation center in Frascati, Italy, and the participants ranged from large space primes to small startups. The full recording of the event is available there. This… Continue reading Airbus’ SAR strategy
Pleiades NEO, the Airbus Very High Resolution constellation
Airbus will launch two pairs of optical satellites, one in 2020 and one in 2021, to form a constellation with two orbital planes enabling two revisits per day. The satellites will have a 30cm resolution, a 14km swath, and orbit at 620km altitude. They will leverage the EDRS data relay satellites for ultra-fast tasking and… Continue reading Pleiades NEO, the Airbus Very High Resolution constellation