Astrium and CNES to improve Pléiades images quality

  • Astrium Services will use a new algorithm developed by the French Space Agency (CNES) to automatically sharpen Pléiades' satellite imagery                                                                                                  
  • All data, archived or newly acquired when processed now will automatically feature this upgrade

26 June 2013 - Astrium, Europe's leading space technology company, and CNES, have achieved a major improvement in Pléiades image quality, including sharper products and enhanced geometry.

A new algorithm, developed by the French Space Agency, provides images with better-drawn, neater contours, with a better understanding of the surface texture. These improvements greatly facilitate the analysis of the image (photo-interpretation) and also improve the accuracy of 3D models resulting from stereo taken images.

These gains encompass:

  • Better pan-sharpening (see examples below)
  • More accurate RPCs (Rational Polynomial Coefficient) improving ortho-rectification and stereoscopic quality
  • An almost perfect focal plane characterization

These modifications have been achieved by upgrading the Pléiades Ground Segment. All Pléiades 1A and 1B images processed now will be of better quality including archived data that is reprocessed.

Astrium Services and CNES work in a continuous partnership to improve the quality of images available. This collaborative approach will continue in order to track possible further improvements, throughout the life of the satellites.

Before and after treatment examples to be seen on:


About Astrium

Together, pioneering excellence

Astrium is the number one company in Europe for space technologies and the third in the world. It is the only global company that covers the full range of civil and defence space systems, equipment and services.

In 2012, Astrium had a turnover over 5.8 billion and 18,000 employees worldwide.

Its three business units are: Astrium Space Transportation, the European prime contractor for launchers, orbital systems and space exploration; Astrium Satellites, a leading provider of satellite system solutions, including spacecraft, ground segments, payloads and equipments; Astrium Services, the Space services partner for critical missions, providing comprehensive fixed and mobile solutions covering secure and commercial satcoms and networks, and bespoke geo-information services, worldwide.

Astrium is a wholly owned subsidiary of EADS, a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2012, the Group - comprising Airbus, Astrium, Cassidian and Eurocopter - generated revenues of ?56.5 billion and employed a workforce of over 140,000.

Press contacts

Jeremy Close (Astrium UK)                                                      Tel.: +44 (0)1 438 77 3872

Gregory Gavroy (Astrium FR)                                                   Tel.: +33 (0) 1 77 75 80 32

Ralph Heinrich (Astrium GER)                                                   Tel.: +49 (0) 89 607 33971

Francisco Lechón (Astrium SP)                                                Tel.: +34 91 586 37 41


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