[Satellite TODAY 04-25-11] Astrium has signed a framework agreement with Hisdesat to establish a constellation approach for the TerraSAR-X and PAZ radar satellites. Hisdesat is the Spanish government satellite service operator. The deal was announced April 24. The constellation approach will also provide improved system redundancy and back-up for both satellites in case of maintenance phases.
The German satellite TerraSAR-X, launched in 2007, reliably delivers high-resolution radar data for versatile applications to worldwide customers. PAZ is the first Spanish radar satellite designed as a dual use (military and civilian) mission to meet operational requirements in the field of high-resolution (up to 1 meter) observation. PAZ is scheduled for launch in 2013 into a polar orbit, which will be specifically optimized to improve the time to get images over key areas of interest when combining TerraSAR-X and PAZ into a constellation.
Operating these two virtually identical satellites in a constellation will afford Astrium and Hisdesat with a more flexible capacity management of their systems. The company’s customers and partners will benefit from enhanced performance and service levels thanks to improved revisit time, service reliability and increased data acquisition capabilities.