France’s CNES chooses Airbus for 4-satellite CO3D digital terrain elevation partnership, invests ~ $114 million

by Peter B. de Selding

PARIS — The French space agency, CNES, has selected Airbus Defence and Space for a partnership under which CNES will invest just under 100 million euros ($114 million) into a constellation of four identical Airbus-built optical observation satellites to produce high-resolution digital terrain elevation maps.

Under the CO3D program, Airbus will build and launch four 300-kilogram satellites, each with a 50-centimeter ground sampling distance, into sun-synchronous polar low Earth orbit in 2022.

On behalf of the French government, and . . .

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