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Astrium and GeoNorth sign first ever multi-satellite Direct Receiving Station

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Monday, December 16th 2013


  • First tri-mission Direct Receiving Station (DRS) to offer both high-resolution and very high-resolution optical and radar satellite images
  • Ninth DRS contract signed in 2013 by Astrium Services as it continues to expand its network of nearly 40 stations
  • Astrium Services holds the widest-ranging DRS network in the world today, ensuring rapid delivery of fresh data and services in near-real time for customers

16 December 2013– Astrium, the world’s second largest space company, signed with GeoNorth, LLC for the first multi-mission Direct Receiving Station (DRS), with a unique offering of both high-resolution and very high-resolution optical and radar satellite imagery capabilities. This new contract brings to nearly 40 the number of stations in the Astrium Services DRS network – the largest worldwide.

The agreement will give GeoNorth the unparalleled capability of priority tasking the Astrium Services satellite constellations to capture imagery anywhere on the globe and downlink data to its processing terminal located at the Alaska satellite facility in Fairbanks. It provides for a multi-satellite DRS that will draw on the SPOT (5 and 6),Pléiades (1A and 1B), TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X satellites – with resolutions across optical and radar products ranging from 0.25m to 40m.

“GeoNorth is thrilled to be able to make such a significant announcement at this time in our company’s history,” said Brian Minster, GeoNorth’s co-founder and General Manager.  “The addition of optical and radar remote sensing capture and processing capabilities complements and expands our existing geospatial technologies expertise.  This will allow us to continue to service our clients at the highest level and provide true value added services unmatched in today’s industry.”

This is the ninth DRS contract Astrium Services has signed in 2013. These agreements establish either new DRS or upgrade existing DRS for compatibility with new satellites (SPOT 6, SPOT 7, TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X).

“We are very happy to count GeoNorth in our DRS club, not only as a new client, but also as the first multi-satellite radar and optical DRS operator,” said Bernhard Brenner, Executive Director of the GEO-Information business at Astrium Services. “The more Direct Receiving Stations there are in the world, the better it is for our customers as we are gettingdata into the hands of users faster than ever before.”

This extensive global DRS network means customers can downlink imagery instantly each time a satellite passes over the stations, thereby ensuring rapid delivery of fresh data and services in near-real time. In addition, the ability to more frequently download images frees up memory on-board the satellites and as such increases acquisition capacity. Astrium Services offersthe broadest multi-sensor portfolio on the market in terms of resolution and responsiveness – as well as availability in all weather conditions.

About GeoNorth, LLC.

GeoNorth, LLC, (a wholly owned subsidiary of The Tatitlek Corporation), is located at 561 E 36th Avenue in Anchorage, Alaska.  The firm specializes in such Information Technology solutions such as GIS, Optical and Radar Satellite Imagery Capture and Processing, Geospatial Solutions, Database Management, Web Design and Development, Mobile Applications, and Graphic Design Services.  Since 1994 the firm has serviced federal, state, and local government agencies, utilities, oil and gas firms, natural resources companies, and private and Native Corporations throughout the United States and abroad.   In addition to their headquarters in Anchorage, the company operates offices in Fairbanks (Alaska), Portland (Oregon), Orlando (Florida), and Arlington (Virginia). GeoNorth is an Alaska Native Corporation (ANC) Small Business and Certified US SBA 8(a) participant.

About Astrium

Together, pioneering excellence

Astrium is the number one company in Europe for space technologies and the second in the world. It is the only global company that coversthefull range of civil and defence space systems, equipment and services.

In 2012, Astrium had a turnover over €5.8 billion and 18,000 employees worldwide.

Its three business unitsare: Astrium Space Transportation, the European prime contractor for launchers, orbital systems and space exploration; Astrium Satellites, a leading provider of satellite system solutions, including spacecraft, ground segments, payloads and equipments; Astrium Services, the Space services partner for critical missions, providing comprehensive fixed and mobile solutions covering secure and commercial satcoms and networks, and bespoke geo-information services, worldwide.

Astrium is a wholly owned subsidiary of EADS,a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2012, the Group– comprising Airbus, Astrium, Cassidian and Eurocopter– generated revenues of €56.5 billion and employed a workforce of over 140,000.

Effective from January 1, 2014, Astrium will be integrated into Airbus Defence and Space together with Airbus Military and Cassidian.

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