Get to Know Our First MultiSat DRS Partner

Can you tell us what your company does?

Since its inception in 1994, GIS services have been at the core of GeoNorth business.  Through the years, the business has expanded to include a variety of IT services, such as web design, custom application development and database design.  Despite being located in Anchorage Alaska, GeoNorth has served clients in 40 states including all levels of Governments, along with a wide array of commercial users.  Continuing success in these core business lines provides GeoNorth with the ability to explore in new business opportunities.  When presented the opportunity to become a DRS partner with Airbus Defence and Space, it seemed like a logical step to develop a remote sensing business, given GeoNorth’s existing Geospatial capabilities.

What your role is in this company?

As GeoNorth’s Technical Sales Engineer, my core responsibility is supporting ongoing sales efforts by working with clients to understand their needs and develop a solution from GeoNorth’s portfolio of products and services.  With GeoNorth’s portfolio of Geospatial and IT services combined with the new Airbus Defence and Space capabilities, this affords me the opportunity to provide unique innovative solutions.

Since when have you been working with Airbus Defence and Space?

GeoNorth has been working with Airbus Defence and Space for about the last two years. The business relationship started when the decision was made to invest in a Direct Receiving Station (DRS) for optical and radar satellite imagery. Now that the DRS has been setup, GeoNorth has direct tasking and downlink capabilities for all Airbus DS satellite constellations including SPOT (5 and 6, and soon to be SPOT 7), Pléiades (1A and 1B,) as well as TerraSAR and TanDEM-X offering optical and SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) imagery products in low, medium, or high and very high resolutions ranging from 40m to 25cm.

I began my career at Spot Image Corporation which is now part of Airbus Defence and Space more than 10 years ago. I started on the Satellite Programming Team managing SPOT 2, 4, & 5 collections over North America. I then moved on to a Project Management role where I managed the collection of SPOT 5 imagery to support the Alaska Statewide Digital Mapping Initiative (SDMI). My involvement with the SDMI increased my visibility into the business taking place in Alaska. It was this connection with Alaska, which led me to make the move to GeoNorth.

Which project/ topic are you working on, using our products and services?

Alaska’s immense size and remoteness offer unique challenges to those who need updated geospatial information. For many applications, satellite imagery is a cost effective solution for updating geospatial information.  Understanding this unique dependence on satellite imagery in Alaska was a key reason GeoNorth decided to partner with Airbus Defence and Space. As a result, GeoNorth is working closely with a diverse group of users in Alaska to ensure we are building solutions to fit these unique challenges.  

Why did you decide to work with us?

GeoNorth - Drew Hopwood

With Airbus DS’ nearly 30 years of remote sensing experience, GeoNorth’s 20 years of Geospatial experience and the unique requirements for satellite imagery in Alaska, this partnership seemed to make perfect sense.

With our DRS going live since May we are excited to see what our first summer collection season has in store for us and our clients.

Drew Hopwood GeoNorth’s Technical Sales Engineer


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