Airbus wins five-year contract for the world’s first deployable satellite imagery ground system

Airbus 112Airbus Defence and Space has been awarded a contract for system evolution and maintenance of the US Air Force’s five Eagle Vision stations until 2019, the company announced November 25. Systems evolutions are related to foot print reduction (transit cases versus shelter), smaller antenna dishes and integration of new satellites. The sustainment of the system covers 24/7 support, failure corrections with workaround solutions, spares management, preventive maintenance, training and support during deployments.

Eagle Vision is the world’s first lightweight deployable, commercial satellite imagery downlink ground system. It provides the users with a unique combination of optical, synthetic aperture radar (SAR), medium and very high resolution capabilities supporting wartime operations, natural disaster relief operations and homeland defense preparations. The use of commercial satellites allows the data to be freely shared among the allied forces.

Today, the system is in its 4th generation and receives imagery from SPOT 6/7, TerraSAR-X/Tandem-X constellations operated by Airbus Defence and Space together with Radarsat and RapidEye. Upgrades of Eagle Vision are planned for receiving and processing data from WorldView and Pleiades satellites. For Airbus Defence and Space this is the uninterrupted successful continuity of a program started in 1993. Since then, more than 20 satellites have been integrated into the system depending on their availability and life cycle.

Eagle Vision is sponsored by the US Air Force ISR Innovations office at the Pentagon and the program management office at Hanscom Air Force Base. Within the Department of Defense inventory, the systems are assigned to Ramstein Air Base (Germany), San Diego Air National Guard Station (California), McEntire Joint National Guard Base (South Carolina), Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (Hawaii) and Redstone Arsenal (Alabama).

Source: Airbus Defence and Space