Mar 17, 2010

Cannes: Thales Alenia Space begins the development two environmental satellites

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Thales Alenia Space announced that it has started the development of Sentinel 1B and 3B Earth observation satellites in its Italian and French facilities.

Thales Alenia Space announced today that it has started the development of Sentinel 1B and 3B Earth observation satellites in its Italian and French facilities. These contracts have been awarded to Thales Alenia Space in December 2009, worth 270 million euros, by the European Space Agency (ESA) as part of the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) programme.

As prime contractor for Sentinel 1 and Sentinel 3 constellations, Thales Alenia Space is responsible for the design, development, integration and testing of these satellites. Sentinel 1B and 3B satellites are the duplicate models of Sentinel 1A and 3A satellites that are currently under construction. The satellites are manufactured in the French facility of Cannes as well as in the Italian facilities of Rome and L’Aquila.

Reynald Seznec, President and CEO of Thales Alenia Space, highlights: “The award of the Sentinel 1 and 3 families granted our company an increasingly forefront role in one of Europe’s most important environmental projects. They confirm the role and skills gained by Thales Alenia Space in the Earth observation domain.”

Sentinel 1A and 1B satellites will image the Earth in swaths of 250 kilometres in diameter with a ground resolution between 5 and 25 metres. They will carry a C-band Synthetic-Aperture Radar (SAR) to provide users with continuous images, day and night, in all weather conditions. Main mission objectives and services of Sentinel-1 are: mapping of urban areas and environmental impacts, monitoring of land surface motion risks, surveillance of marine environment, maritime security, monitoring of sea-ice zones, monitoring of forest and climate change.

About Thales Alenia Space

The European leader in satellite systems and a major player in orbital infrastructures, Thales Alenia Space is a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Finmeccanica (33%). Thales Alenia Space and Telespazio embody the two groups’ “Space Alliance”. Thales Alenia Space sets the global standard in solutions for space telecoms, radar and optical Earth observation, defense and security, navigation and science. The company achieved revenues of Euro 2 billion in 2009 and has a total of 7,200 employees located in 11 industrial sites in France, Italy, Spain and Belgium.