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CERES 1, 2, 3


CERES (Capacité de Renseignement Electromagnétique Spatiale or Space Signal Intelligence Capacity) is a French ELINT satellite system, consisting of three closely positioned satellites that are designed to detect and locate ground signals, along with ground control and user ground segments.

CERES is the first operational interception system for the French defence agency and draws on the experience acquired from the ESSAIM and ELISA demonstrators:

Airbus Defence and Space has been entrusted with the space segment comprising the three satellites, while Thales is responsible for the payload and the user ground segment. The two manufacturers are the joint prime contractors for the entire system. In addition, Thales Alenia Space acts as a subcontractor to Airbus Defence and Space in supplying the platform.

The satellites will be launched in 2020 on a Vega rocket, likely on the upgraded Vega-C version.

Nation: France
Type / Application: ELINT
Operator: DGA
Contractors: Airbus Defence and Space (prime); Thales Alenia Space (bus)
Power: Deployable solar array, batteries
Mass: 130 kg
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
CERES 1 - 2021 Ko ELV Vega with CERES 2, 3
CERES 2 - 2021 Ko ELV Vega with CERES 1, 3
CERES 3 - 2021 Ko ELV Vega with CERES 1, 2