Airbus launches CSO-2 satellites to observe the Earth

Airbus launches CSO-2 satellites to observe the Earth

Airbus has just announced that its Earth observation satellite CSO-2 has been successfully launched from the European spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. CSO-2 is the second in the satellite program that Airbus wants to put into space to observe the Earth and provide geographic information in high-resolution images.

CSO-2 is built primarily for the French Armed Forces and its partners, allowing for high-resolution 3D imaging in both visible and infrared bandwidths, so data will come both day and night. This satellite is identical to the CSO-1, launched on 18 December 2018.

The CSO program is an interesting collaboration between Airbus and the French government

The government makes available a small constellation of three satellites designed to provide geographic information through very high-resolution images. According to a press release from the French Government, “this launch marks the beginning of the renewal of all the space capabilities of the French Defense”. The first satellite, CSO-1, was launched at the end of 2018.

Airbus launches CSO-2 satellites to observe the Earth

Two years later, CSO-2 has been successfully launched from the European spaceport in Kourou, a satellite identical to the first one which is a step forward in the creation of this constellation of three. This is the first generation of military observation satellites, with full deployment scheduled for 2021.

Airbus launches CSO-2 satellites to observe the Earth
Airbus launches CSO-2 satellites to observe the Earth

CSO satellites provide high-resolution 3D images in both visible and infrared bandwidth. This maximizes the operational use of the satellites, which are located in a polar orbit less than 480 kilometers away.

Despite being a project of Airbus and the French Government, the CSO project is open to European associations. In particular, Germany, Sweden, and Belgium were the first to join cooperation agreements and further agreements with different European countries are still under consideration.