PAZ, the satellite owned by the Spanish company Hisdesat, will soon increase the monitoring resources of the Airbus radar satellites constellation. Following its launch during the last quarter of 2017, PAZ will be positioned in the same orbit as the German owned TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X satellites and form a high-resolution synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite constellation with them. The addition of this third satellite will reduce revisit time and increase acquisition capacity, leading to subsequent benefits to various applications. All three satellites will feature exactly identical ground swaths and acquisition modes. The new setup will be jointly exploited by Hisdesat and Airbus Defence and Space.
This SAR constellation will offer improved capabilities for precise monitoring of highly dynamic surface movements thanks to an interferometric repeat cycle reduced to an average of four to seven days, instead of eleven days currently. In addition, numerous data-intensive and time-critical tasks, as in the areas of defence and security, will directly benefit from this new constellation with daily revisits. Additionally, PAZ will also be equipped with an Automatic Identification System (AIS), allowing, for the first time, to simultaneously capture ships AIS signals and SAR imagery, increasing maritime domain monitoring capacities worldwide.
Airbus Defence and Space, as prime contractor, integrated the PAZ satellite at its facilities in Madrid, and was also responsible of the development of the radar instrument, leading a group of more than ten European companies. The SAR constellation will expand Airbus Defence and Space’s already broad constellation services also comprising the optical satellites SPOT 6/7, Pléiades 1A and 1B and the Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC).