Airbus Defence and Space

ESSAIM demonstrator: in-orbit experimental phase extended

The French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) has awarded a support contract of 1.5 million euros to joint prime contractors Airbus Defence and Space and Thales, which will extend the operational life of the ESSAIM demonstrator by 18 months.


  • The DGA informed Airbus Defence and Space and Thales of an 18-month extension to the support contract for the ESSAIM demonstrator
  • ESSAIM: a technical and operational experiment

Paris, 5 September – The French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) has awarded a support contract of 1.5 million euros to joint prime contractors Airbus Defence and Space and Thales, which will extend the operational life of the ESSAIM demonstrator by 18 months.

Put into orbit in December 2004, the aim of ESSAIM is to analyse and map the electromagnetic environment of the earth’s surface from space.

The DGA is defining and implementing the experimental phase, in which the French armed forces are also involved, and utilising the demonstrator’s data.

After 44 months in orbit, the four micro-satellites are continuing to operate normally even though they were initially envisaged to operate for just three years.

The results-to-date have increased interest in developing space-based technology in the field of electromagnetic intelligence (ROEM – Renseignement d’Origine ElectroMagnétique).

Feedback from the ESSAIM system is providing useful information for the creation of ELISA, the next ROEM spatial demonstrator, which will be produced by the same industrial consortium - its launch scheduled for 2010. These two pre-project studies by DGA are forerunners to the creation of a satellite system of spatial electromagnetic intelligence ability (CERES – Capacité de Renseignement Electromagnétique Spatial), predicted by the White book on defence and national security to come about by the middle of the next decade.

Airbus Defence and Space, as one of the programme’s joint prime contractors and representative of the consortium, has been given overall control of the system. Airbus Defence and Space is also responsible for maintaining the space systems and the associated ground control systems, in tandem with the operational teams from the French Space Agency (CNES).

The other joint prime contractor, Thales, is responsible for mission programming and operations, as well as maintaining the ground user systems.

About Airbus Defence and Space

Airbus Defence and Space, a wholly owned subsidiary of AIRBUS Group, is dedicated to providing civil and defence space systems and services. In 2007, Airbus Defence and Space had a turnover of €3.5 billion and 12,000 employees in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands. Its three main areas of activity are Airbus Defence and Space for launchers and orbital infrastructure, Airbus Defence and Space for spacecraft and ground segment and its wholly owned subsidiary Airbus Defence and Space for the development and delivery of satellite services.

AIRBUS Group is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2007, AIRBUS Group generated revenues of €39.1 billion and employed a workforce of more than 116,000.

 

Press contacts:

Matthieu Duvelleroy (Airbus Defence and Space FR) Phone: +33 (0) 1 77 75 80 32

Jeremy Close (Airbus Defence and Space UK) Phone: +44 (0)1 438 77 3872

Mathias Pikelj (Airbus Defence and Space GER) Phone: +49 (0) 7545 8 9123

Francisco Lechón (Airbus Defence and Space SP) Phone: +34 91 586 37 41

 

About Thales

Thales is a world leader in mission-critical information systems for the aerospace, defence and security markets. The group employs 68,000 people worldwide and generated revenues of €12.3 billion in 2007.

Thales is involved in all civil and military programmes in the avionics sector. Its mission is to provide manufacturers of both civil and military avionics platforms with a full range of on-board equipment and systems. Thales acts as prime contractor, systems and subsystems integrator, and provider of equipment and value-added services.

In the space sector, Thales contributes its proven excellence in key technologies and long experience in the design of complex systems. The company has partnered the international space industry for nearly four decades. Today, Thales offers a wide range of essential solutions and services.

 

Press contact:

Natasha Harvey Tel: +33 (0) 1 34 81 40 50

Natasha.Harvey@fr.thalesgroup.com

www.thalesgroup.com

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