The French Armament General Directorate’s (DGA) ‘Capacité de Renseignement Electromagnétique Spatiale/Space-based Signal Intelligence Capability’ satellites have been successfully launched.

An Arianespace Vega rocket lifted off with the satellites from the European spaceport in French Guiana.

Known by the French acronym CERES, the satellites were designed and built by Airbus Defence and Space, and Thales.

Airbus Defense and Space is the prime contractor on the CERES project while Thales Alenia Space supplied platforms for the three spacecraft.

According to the companies, CERES satellites are drawn on the companies’ experience acquired from the ESSAIM and ELISA micro-satellite demonstrators unveiled in 2004 and 2011 respectively.

Airbus Space Systems head Jean Marc Nasr said: “We are ready to go with the next generation of space surveillance capability for France: CERES! Entrusting Airbus with the construction and full space system responsibility is a ringing endorsement of our expertise and the quality of our technology, acquired in particular from the ESSAIM and ELISA demonstrators.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

“The three CERES satellites will provide France with its first satellite system for signal intelligence, thus confirming our ability to act as prime contractor for French space-based intelligence systems.”

CERES satellites are designed to detect and geo-locate electromagnetic (EM) signals from radio communication systems and radars.

Capable of operating in any kind of weather conditions, the CERES system will offer in-depth information to support military operations for the French Armed Forces.

The system comprises three identical satellites carrying the signals intelligence (SIGINT) payload and the user and ground control segments.

Thales Defence Mission Systems executive vice-president Philippe Duhamel said: “CERES will complete the French strategic and tactical defence intelligence capability with its first signal intelligence (SIGINT) satellite system.”

In March 2015, Thales and Airbus Defence and Space were selected as co-prime contractors for the design and construction of the CERES programme.