Please make a donation to support Gunter's Space Page.
Thank you very much for visiting Gunter's Space Page. I hope that this site is useful and informative for you.
If you appreciate the information provided on this site, please consider supporting my work by making a simple and secure donation via PayPal. Please help to run the website and keep everything free of charge. Thank you very much.


SPIRALE [Astrium]

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.

Nation: France
Type / Application: Early warning
Operator: DGA
Contractors: Alcatel Space, Astrium
Configuration: Myriade
Power: Deployable solar array, batteries
Lifetime: 14 months
Mass: 117 kg
Orbit: 600 km × 36000 km
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
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


  • Astrium website

Cite this page: