UK-based Surrey Satellite Technology (SSTL) has secured a new contract to provide high-resolution Earth observation optical data from the SSTL S1-4 satellite to Airbus.

Launched last September, SSTL S1-4 is an Earth observation satellite that is capable of acquiring multiple targets in a single pass. It is designed to operate for more than seven years.

Under the contract, SSTL will lease imaging payload capacity of the SSTL S1-4 to Airbus for its lifetime, as well as retain the ownership of the satellite and its in-orbit satellite operations.

SSTL managing director Sarah Parker said: “We are delighted with the performance of the SSTL S1-4 in orbit, demonstrated by the outstanding quality of the sub 1m resolution images of Tampa, Ho Chi Minh City and Chihuahua that we have released today.

“This will benefit our high-demand users across the defence and security sectors.”

“I am also pleased to announce that Airbus is enhancing its imagery offering by leasing data capacity from the SSTL S1-4, and I look forward to start service shortly.”

The contract will provide Airbus with high-resolution panchromatic and multispectral optical data, which will improve its high-resolution coverage capabilities.

The Airbus portfolio already includes image data procured from seven SSTL-built satellites.

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Airbus Defence and Space, Intelligence UK Programmes head Phil Brownnett said: “We really look forward to welcoming the S1-4 data into the Intelligence portfolio, to further enhance our high-resolution coverage capabilities.

“This will benefit our high-demand users across the defence and security sectors.”

The 450kg SSTL S1-4 acquires multiple targets by leveraging spot, strip and mosaic imaging modes.

The satellite’s very high-resolution imager is capable of capturing sub 1m resolution images in panchromatic mode.

Additionally, it can acquire sub 4m resolution images in multispectral mode with a swath width of 20.8km.