First Pléiades terminal installed in Sweden
The first Pléiades terminal arrived in Sweden
Pléiades terminal in Sweden
The first Pléiades terminal arrived in Sweden at Kiruna airport in February.
From there, it was trucked to the Esrange receiving station site 30 kilometres away, where it will be connected to an X-band antenna supplied by the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC).
The transfer took place in glacial conditions at temperatures as low as -25°C.
The Swedish ground segment is the second civil receiving station in the Pléiades system after the station in Toulouse, France.
The Swedish receiving station is operated by Pléiades partner SSC, which is also co-funding the programme to the tune of 3%, in charge of Pléiades image telemetry reception and hosting the ground segment at its Esrange site.
This partnership gives Sweden the capability to generate image products for its institutional customers.
Swedish receiving station
The SFINX antenna has a span of 7.3 metres. Located north of the Arctic Circle, it is within range of satellites for 10 orbital revolutions a day and for about 100 minutes on each satellite pass.
In comparison, the antenna in Toulouse can only receive data from 5 passes in 24 hours.
The Swedish receiving station thus provides extra responsiveness for Pléiades and the ability to transfer data urgently to Astrium Services over a dedicated network.
The ground segment was integrated by Thales Services in Toulouse before being shipped to Sweden.
In April, it will undergo technical qualification testing by a team from the French space agency CNES, SSC, EADS-DS, Thales Services and Astrium Services.
This terminal is identical to those that will be deployed at other receiving stations around the globe.