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Alcatel Delivers "Eye" For French Spy Sat. (Dec. 19)

PARIS --- Alcatel Space today announced that it has delivered to Astrium the first flight model of the Helios II High-Resolution (HR) instrument for integration on the Helios IIA satellite in Toulouse, slated for launch in late 2004.

This very high-resolution imaging instrument will be used for the Earth observation mission of the Helios II defense program. The Helios II program is the second-generation observation system following on from the defense and security services provided by the Helios I program. The system comprises two satellites: Helios IIA and Helios IIB, in Sun-synchronous orbit. French arms procurement agency DGA was designated by the French, Belgian and Spanish defense ministries to conduct the program, while French space agency CNES is the system prime contractor. Astrium is prime contractor for the two satellites. As the lead supplier, Alcatel Space will deliver the key HR instrument, along with other system components.

Alcatel Space has already supplied the two imaging systems currently in orbit on the Helios 1A and Helios 1B satellites.

This second-generation HR instrument offers significantly higher performance than its predecessor:
-- Enhanced image quality, especially through the very high-resolution version;
-- An infrared channel for full day/night detection capability.

Delivery of the HR instrument confirms Alcatel Space's leadership in the European high-resolution optical and radar imaging instrument market. Furthermore, the advanced image acquisition technology developed by Alcatel Space has now amply proven its capabilities in orbit.

For example, the Meris medium-resolution ocean color hyperspectral sensor and the ASAR (Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar) on the Envisat spacecraft provide images considered by the international scientific community to be of remarkably high quality. The Poseidon 2 altimeter onboard the Jason 1 oceanographic satellite delivers vital ocean surveillance data on a daily basis.

Alcatel Space is worldwide number 3 and European leader in satellites. With civil and military application know-how, Alcatel Space develops satellite solutions for telecommunications, navigation, radar and optical observation, meteorology, and sciences. The company is also the leading European prime contractor of earth observation, meteorology and navigation segments, and for operating space systems.

A 100% subsidiary of Alcatel, Alcatel Space had a turnover of 1.4 billion euros in 2001.

Alcatel designs, develops and builds innovative, competitive communications networks used by operators, service providers and companies to provide all content (voice, data or multimedia) to all customers throughout the world. Using the complete portfolio of solutions ranging from optical infrastructures to fixed and mobile networks and broadband access, Alcatel customers can devote themselves to optimizing their service offers and sources of revenue.

With a turnover of 25 billion euros in 2001, Alcatel is present in more than 130 countries.

Alcatel Space Delivers High-Resolution Instrument for Helios II Satellite High-Resolution Imaging for French Observation Program