Final Pléiades Neo satellites ready to complete the constellation
Posted on 10 Jun 2022 and read 1147 times
The last two satellites of the Airbus
-built, owned and operated Pléiades Neo constellation are on track for launch later this year, following successful final tests in the company’s clean rooms in Toulouse.
Following the seamless parallel integration of both Pléiades Neo 5 and 6 satellites, and the successful conclusion of the environment (thermal vacuum, acoustic, vibration) test campaign, both satellites are now ready to complete the Pléiades Neo constellation.
They are scheduled to be launched simultaneously on the Vega C European launcher from Kourou, in French Guiana. To tackle this dual launch, the Airbus space engineers came up with a smart and efficient dispenser-free design, where the satellites are stacked on top of each other, linked only by a clamp band.
This unique configuration saves volume and mass, as well as reducing cost. Simultaneously testing both satellites in their stacked launch configuration enabled significant time saving, with only four days needed to pass both the three axes Sine testing and the acoustic test.
Philippe Pham, head of Earth observation and science at Airbus, said: “With this new bold, dispenser-free design, we were able to seamlessly integrate and test these two high-resolution satellites and ensure an optimised launch configuration: in a single launch, we will double the acquisition capacity of the Pléiades Neo constellation, and offer even greater responsiveness to our customers.”