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CSO 1, 2, 3

CSO [Astrium]

CNES, the French space agency, has notified Astrium that the DGA, the French arms procurement agency, has awarded the company a 795 million contract for two satellites for the optical space component (CSO, Composante Spatiale Optique) that will replace the current Helios 2 military observation satellites. The first satellite is scheduled to enter orbit in 2018. The contract also includes an option for a third satellite.

As prime contractor for the CSO satellites programme, Astrium will provide the agile platform and avionics, and will also be responsible for the integration work, testing and delivery of the satellites to CNES. Thales Alenia Space will provide Astrium with the very-high resolution optical instrument.

An agreement between France and Germany was reached in April 2015, under which Germany contributes 210 Million to building a third satellite, and in exchange receives access rights to the imagery.

CSO 1 will provide Very High Resolution imagery - comparable to the Helios 2 satellites, with a ground resolution of about 35 cm from an 800 km orbit. The launch is planned for 2018.

CSO 2 will be put into a lower 480 km orbit to provide Extremely High Resolution imagery with a ground resolution of about 20 cm. It is to be launched in in 2021.

CSO 3 will be launched to provide increased revisit capabilities.

Nation: France (#1, 2), France, Germany (#3)
Type / Application: Reconnaissance, electro-optical
Operator: DGA
Contractors: EADS Astrium → Airbus Defence and Space (bus); Thales Alenia Space (payload)
Equipment: ?
Configuration: AstroSat-1000
Propulsion: ?
Power: 4 deployable fixed solar arrays, batteries
Lifetime: 10 years
Mass: ~ 3500 kg
Orbit: 800 km SSO (#1); 480 km SSO (#2)
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
CSO 1 - 2018 Ko
CSO 2 - 2021 Ko
CSO 3 - Ko

References:

Further Helios missions: