Arianespace has successfully delivered the first satellite of the Pléiades Neo constellation in its planned orbit.

The satellite was launched onboard Arianespace’s European launcher Vega from French Guiana.

After being placed in orbit, the solar arrays of the satellite were deployed and the first telemetry signals were received.

Airbus’ control centre in Toulouse, France, commanded the satellite and initiated early orbit phase activities with the aim of acquiring the first image next week.

The spacecraft will undergo an in-orbit calibration phase prior to opening for commercial service.

Later this year, Airbus will launch another satellite Pléiades Neo 4 onboard the Vega rocket.

Airbus Defence and Space intelligence head François Lombard said: “The launch of this first Pléiades Neo satellite will pave the way to new services and great opportunities for our customers, thanks to its high accuracy and increased reactivity.

“The Pléiades Neo constellation will definitively boost the 30cm imagery market, bringing a lot of innovation and coverage capacity to the commercial and governmental end-users.”

The Pléiades Neo project will comprise four identical satellites that are entirely funded, designed, manufactured, owned and operated by Airbus.

Each satellite will cover half a million square kilometres a day at a 30cm native resolution, providing high-level insights to commercial and institutional customers for the next decade.

Customers will access freshly acquired and archive data, as well as extensive analytics through Airbus’ OneAtlas digital platform.

The Pléiades Neo constellation will work alongside the existing Pléiades satellites and the remaining Airbus Earth observation satellite fleet.