Arianespace deployed a different Earth observation satellite for the Airbus firm, together with 4 additional small satellites, on Monday night (August 16). At 9:47 p.m. EDT, an Arianespace Vega rocket carrying Pléiades Neo 4 satellite as well as a quartet of cubesats launched from Guiana Space Center situated in Kourou (0147 Aug. 17 GMT).
Pléiades Neo 4 —second of 4 very high-resolution spacecraft to execute as a portion of the Pléiades Neo Earth-observing spacecraft constellation of Airbus — as well as four cubesats named BRO-4, SUNSTORM, LEDSAT, and RADCUBE were carried aboard the rocket. According to Arianespace, all of the satellites were put into the sun-synchronous orbit with a total weight of around 2,268 pounds.
“With this flight, Arianespace once again proves the remarkable versatility of Vega,” stated Stéphane Isral, CEO of Arianespace. “On behalf of Airbus, we deployed safely into the orbit the 2nd satellite of the unique Pléiades Neo 4 constellation, as well as four supplementary cubesats for ESA and Unseenlabs, a French start-up.” Following the release of the Pléiades Neo 3 in the month of April, this was Arianespace’s 7th deployment of 2021 and Vega’s 2nd deployment of 2021 or 19th flight overall.
Pléiades Neo 4, the principal payload, is the 2nd of 4 Earth observation spacecraft designed and controlled by the Airbus Defence and Space for a modern satellite constellation. Pléiades Neo 5, as well as Pléiades Neo 6, is scheduled to deploy in the year 2022, which brings the constellation to an end. Pléiades Neo satellites are going to offer improved resolution, enhanced geolocation accuracy, and twice-daily revisits for the “top-level Earth observation services today and in the future for the next ten years,” according to Arianespace officials.
“In addition, their reactive handling capability allows rapid acquisitions 30 to 40 minutes after request — five times faster than prior satellite constellations — and react to the most essential situations in near real-time, which is particularly useful during natural disasters.”
Four scientific spacecraft will be launched by the Vega rocket, three for European Space Agency (ESA) as well as one for the Unseenlabs, which is a European satellite start-up. The LEDSAT (or LED-centred tiny SATellite), SUNSTORM and RADCUBE, are the 3 ESA payloads.
SUNSTORM will utilize a revolutionary solar X-ray spectrometer to identify and classify solar flares, or even the coronal mass ejections, while the LEDSAT will evaluate the utilization of Light Emitting Diodes to track and identify satellites while in orbit. RADCUBE will demonstrate the utilization of small satellites for the space weather assessment, and SUNSAT will utilize a ground-breaking solar X-ray spectrometer to identify and classify solar flares, or even coronal mass ejections.
BRO-4 (Breizh Reconnaissance Orbiter), last payload, is the 4th satellite of Unseenlabs’ maritime surveillance network. Unseenlabs will be able to geolocate and detail ships at sea utilizing this nano-satellite constellation, which is designed to detect electromagnetic signals from space. As per the announcement, the corporation plans to deploy between 20 – 25 nanosatellites for the constellation by 2025.