The DGA (French Government Armament Agency), Telecommunication and Information Programmes Department, has awarded EADS Astrium a contract for the design and production of a space based optical early warning system demonstrator.
EADS Astrium is the prime contractor for this 124 M Euros programme and will supply the alert and monitoring ground segment. Alcatel Space will develop the satellites whilst EADS Astrium will be responsible for satellite integration and in-orbit operations.
The demonstrator called SPIRALE (Système Préparatoire Infra-Rouge pour l'Alerte) covers the supply and operation of a complete system able to collect and analyse infrared imagery against a land background, in order to detect ballistic missiles during their boost phase, just after launch. The space segment consists of two 120 kg class micro-satellites operating on an elliptical orbit, to be launched by an Ariane-5ECA as secondary payloads in 2008.
This is the first demonstration of its kind to be conducted in Europe. It will pave the way for a future operational, early warning optical space programme. This will form a strategic link in an anti-ballistic missile defense system and will also contribute to other operational missions, such as proliferation monitoring.
|Type / Application:||Early warning|
|Contractors:||Alcatel Space, Astrium|
|Power:||Deployable solar array, batteries|
|Orbit:||600 km × 36000 km|
|SPIRALE A||2009-008C||12.02.2009||Ko ELA-3||Ariane-5ECA||Hotbird 10, NSS 9, SPIRALE B|
|SPIRALE B||2009-008D||12.02.2009||Ko ELA-3||Ariane-5ECA||Hotbird 10, NSS 9, SPIRALE A|