A joint technical paper presented at the International Conference on Space Optics (ICSO) 2006, held last month in the Netherlands, highlighted the design and performance of the image sensor chosen for Pleiades high-resolution (Pleiades-HR) Earth observation satellites, said the sensor's manufacturer, e2v. The paper, "Back-thinned TDI CCD image sensor design and performance for the Pleiades high-resolution Earth observation satellites," was presented by e2v, a UK developer of radio frequency and sensing technology; the French government space agency, CNES (Centre National d'Études Spatiales); and Alcatel Alenia Space, a France-based affiliate of Alcatel, that makes satellite systems and orbital infrastructures. They provided an overview of the Pleiades-HR mission and satellite, details on the satellite's CCD (charge coupled device) focal plane and a discussion of the panchromatic channel architecture in the focal plane. e2v developed a time delay and integration (TDI) mode CCD98 image sensor specifically for the Pleiades-HR program under contract with CNES. Five of these sensors are destined for the panchromatic channel of the Pleiades focal plane. The first of two Pleiades-HR satellites is due for launch in early 2009. Developed by European space company EADS Astrium, the satellite will orbit the Earth, capturing very high-resolution panchromatic and multispectra images from an altitude of 694 km for a period of five years. The satellite houses an Alcatel Alenia Space high-performance instrument comprising a telescope and a detection unit, composed of a focal plane and a video electronic unit. Data in the form of color images with a resolution of 0.7 m, captured across a 20-km swath, will be used for cartography applications, such as urban area mapping, as well as defence and civil security applications.