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French Defence Procurement Agency, CNES and Spot Image sign SPOT 5

Press Release From: Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES)
Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2002

Laurent Collet-Billon, Deputy Director of the French defence procurement agency DGA, Gérard Brachet, Director General of the French space agency CNES, and Jean-Marc Nasr, Chairman & CEO of Spot Image, signed an agreement governing the use of the High-Resolution Stereoscopic instrument (HRS) on the SPOT 5 satellite, which is set for launch in early May by an Ariane launch vehicle.

SPOT 5's HRS instrument is able to acquire two images of the same 120-km-by-600-km ground strip almost simultaneously, one forward and one aft of the satellite, to generate digital data for mapping of terrain relief in three dimensions.

Spot Image will task the HRS instrument to meet the requirements of the French Ministry of Defence and civil users.

HRS will significantly shorten turnaround times of operational geographic data and provide the capability to produce cheaper digital elevation models (DEMs).

DEMs derived from HRS stereopair imagery will find uses in many civil applications, in particular for natural disaster management, flood monitoring, mobile telephone network planning, environmental impact studies and mapping. Used in combination with other digital map data in geographic information systems (GIS), DEMs offer a 3-D view of the landscape, making it possible for example to simulate a flood, study highway corridors or visualize runway approaches.

For military commanders, HRS data will complement France's other sources of satellite data and dedicated military observation assets.

Exploitation of HRS data to meet joint civil and military requirements illustrates France's determination to acquire a full spectrum of observation assets for use in a crisis. Indeed, HRS data could also make a valuable contribution to coalition operations in which France takes part.

Press Contacts

DGA - Martine Clément - Phone 33 (0)1 45 52 82 91
CNES - Sandra Laly - Phone 33 (0)5 61 27 33 44
Spot Image - Anne-Marie Bernard - Phone 33 (0)5 62 19 40

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