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EARTH OBSERVATION
A SPOT 6 Success Story
by Staff Writers
Paris, France (SPX) Nov 20, 2012


illustration only

SPOT 6 reached its final orbital slot on 22 September and a review of this initial positioning phase was successfully completed on 12 October.

This review marks the transition between satellite launch and the formal system review at the end of in-orbit checkout, slated for December. Activities are advancing on schedule and SPOT 6 products should be on sale as planned in January 2013.

The review also included an exhaustive analysis of the in-orbit status of the satellite's subsystems. All systems have been powered up and are functioning nominally.

Fuel consumption has been tightly controlled, commensurate with the satellite's planned 10-year operating lifetime.

The satellite's performance is being assessed with special emphasis on its agility. Uplink of tasking work plans is ramping up and the satellite is operating at 50% of its acquisition capacity.

Tasking plans currently include the direct receiving stations in China, Mexico and Russia, as well as the main receiving stations in Toulouse and Kiruna.

Once operating at full capacity, SPOT 6 will be able to acquire 250 strips, i.e., 3 million sq.km or the equivalent of 750 SPOT 5 scenes.

Other series of tests will continue up to the review at the end of in-orbit checkout. These include system and geometric calibration tests, attitude data checking, spectral band registration and integration of production and operating systems.

Agililty Test Over Cyprus
The 9,251 sq.km of Cyprus were acquired in a single pass by SPOT 6. The whole island was covered from east to west in four strips in 1 minute and 30 seconds, including acquisition and satellite repositioning times.

Other agility tests were also performed, like this east-west acquisition below. Seven images were in acquired in two minutes within a single pass along the north coast of Java. See detailed images and captions here

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