Laurent Collet-Billon, Deputy Director of the
French defence procurement agency DGA, GŽrard Brachet, Director
General of the French space agency CNES, and Jean-Marc Nasr, Chairman
& CEO of Spot Image, signed an agreement governing the use of the
High-Resolution Stereoscopic instrument (HRS) on the SPOT 5 satellite,
which is set for launch in early May by an Ariane launch vehicle.

SPOT 5’s HRS instrument is able to acquire two images of the
same 120-km-by-600-km ground strip almost simultaneously, one forward
and one aft of the satellite, to generate digital data for mapping of
terrain relief in three dimensions.

Spot Image will task the HRS instrument to meet the requirements of
the French Ministry of Defence and civil users.

HRS will significantly shorten turnaround times of operational
geographic data and provide the capability to produce cheaper digital
elevation models (DEMs).

DEMs derived from HRS stereopair imagery will find uses in many civil
applications, in particular for natural disaster management, flood
monitoring, mobile telephone network planning, environmental impact
studies and mapping. Used in combination with other digital map data
in geographic information systems (GIS), DEMs offer a 3-D view of the
landscape, making it possible for example to simulate a flood, study
highway corridors or visualize runway approaches.

For military commanders, HRS data will complement France’s other
sources of satellite data and dedicated military observation assets.

Exploitation of HRS data to meet joint civil and military requirements
illustrates France’s determination to acquire a full spectrum of
observation assets for use in a crisis. Indeed, HRS data could also
make a valuable contribution to coalition operations in which France
takes part.

Press Contacts

DGA – Martine ClŽment – Phone 33 (0)1 45 52 82 91

CNES – Sandra Laly – Phone 33 (0)5 61 27 33 44

Spot Image – Anne-Marie Bernard – Phone 33 (0)5 62 19 40