EADS Astrium is Prime Contractor for an Optical Early Warning Space System Demonstrator
(Source: EADS Space; Jan. 20, 2004)
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 program 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 (French acronym for “Preparatory System for IR Early Warning”) covers the supply and operation of a complete system able to collect and analyze 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 Ariane 5 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 program. 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.

EADS Astrium is the leading satellite company in Europe. Its activities cover complete civil and military telecommunications and Earth Observation systems, Science and Navigation programs, and all spacecraft avionics and equipment.

EADS Astrium is wholly owned by EADS Space. In 2002 EADS Space had a turnover of Euros 2.2 billion and 12,300 employees in France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Spain. (ends)



Alcatel Named Prime Contractor for SPIRALE Early Warning Satellites
(Source: Alcatel Space; issued Jan. 20, 2004)
PARIS --- Alcatel Space, a subsidiary of Alcatel, has been chosen by EADS Astrium, prime contractor for the SPIRALE (Système Préparatoire Infra-Rouge pour l'Alerte) early warning program, to build two demonstration satellites.

The SPIRALE program, worth 124 million euros, involves the supply and operation of a complete ballistic missile early warning system. It will gather and analyze infrared images of terrestrial backgrounds to detect ballistic missiles during their powered phase, just after launch.

Alcatel Space is prime contractor for the space segment, comprising two 120-kg class micro-satellites in elliptical orbit. They will be launched in 2008 by an Ariane 5 rocket.

A first in Europe, this demonstration program is designed to pave the way for a future spaceborne early warning system using optical sensors. This system would be key to an anti-ballistic missile defense system, as well as contributing to other missions, such as monitoring of weapon proliferation, for the French defense procurement agency DGA.

Alcatel Space, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alcatel, is the world's third largest satellite manufacturer and Number 1 in Europe. The company is also the leading European prime contractor for earth observation, meteorology and navigation ground segments, and for space system operation.

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