The CERES space system (Capacité de Renseignement Electromagnétique Spatiale or Space-based Signal Intelligence Capability) satellites designed and built by Airbus Defence and Space and Thales for the DGA (the French Armament General Directorate) have been successfully launched from the European spaceport in French Guiana, on-board a Vega launcher.
“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,” said Jean Marc Nasr, Head of Space Systems at Airbus. “The three CERES spacecraft 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,” he continued.
CERES is designed to detect and geo-locate electromagnetic signals from radio communication systems and radars from areas where surface sensors cannot reach. From its low Earth orbit, CERES is free from airspace overflight constraints and can operate in all types of weather. The system will provide in-depth information to support military operations for the French Armed Forces, thus improving situational awareness.
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