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Airbus to Help CNES Observe the Earth

Airbus, the European plane-making giant, announced on July 8, that Airbus signed a CO3D (Constellation Optique 3D) contract with French Space Agency (French: Centre National d’Études Spatiales), which will help the latter observe the Earth. 

A satellite constellation is a group of satellites working in concert. It is usually a satellite network consisting of some satellite deployed in certain way. 

According to the news announcement by Airbus, comprised of four Airbus-made identical satellites and designed to weigh approximately 300 kg in total, the CO3D constellation is expected to launch at the end of 2022 and will deliver high-resolution stereo imagery across the world on a daily basis. The data acquired will feed a cloud-based processing chain operated by Airbus with CNES’s algorithms integrated, to produce a cutting-edge 3D map of the Earth’s landmass.

CO3D is a significant leap forward for global Earth observation, said Jean-Marc Nasr, Head of Space Systems at Airbus. During the signature event, Jean-Yves Le Gall, President of CNES, declared: “The new generation optical satellite constellation CO3D embodies French ambition and ingenuity and opens a new era for Earth observation.”