“Atos consortium chosen by the CNES to develop its future space mission control centres”

Paris, London, 20 March 2013

The French space agency CNES has chosen the consortium led by Atos to develop its future space mission control centres. Satellites are launched, put into orbit and piloted from a dedicated mission control centre for each space programme.

 

The consortium, led by Atos in partnership with Thales - along with Scassi, Spacebel and Telespazio, will be developing a line of ISIS products – the so called “Initiative for Space Innovative Standards” - which will constitute the new standard for mission control centres. The standard will address mandatory space programme requirements in terms of performance, security and evolutivity over the future two decades.

 

For each new satellite, the CNES will use the generic ISIS baseline and will work on developing a dedicated mission control centre specifically designed for the mission context. The first missions to benefit from this will be the CSO imaging defence space programme and MERLIN, satellite designed to measure the level of methane gas in the atmosphere. According to Marc Pircher, Director of the Toulouse Space Centre, "The issues of developing and keeping future space mission control centres operational over the next 20 years are crucial for CNES".

 

Laurent Kocher, CEO, Atos France, adds: "Atos is very proud to lead the consortium chosen by the CNES to carry out this programme for future French and European space missions. In a close partnership with Thales, Atos has demonstrated its expertise in aerospace engineering and its ability to industrialise the development of large complex systems, operate them and carry them through in the long term. This contract is a fine example of capitalisation of the Group's expertises and innovation for the benefit of our customers' technological and operational excellence."

 

Within this context, Atos is acting as project manager across the programme, and is developing an innovative IT architecture (infrastructure, data storage, man-machine interface etc.), as the basis of all system components, in due observance of military programmes' security standards. Atos will also adapt the generic ISIS solution to the specificity of the MERLIN mission.

 

Thales is responsible for system definition and architecture, creating the command/control and flight dynamics components, and system validation and integration. It is also in charge of adapting the generic ISIS solution for the CSO mission. The Group is also working alongside Atos on programme governance.

 

About the CSO and Merlin space programmes:

 

CSO, Composante Spatiale Optique, is the future Musis (multinational space-based system) spatial defence imaging system, which will be carried out along with Germany, Belgium, Spain, Greece and Italy. CSO will have two satellites to replace the current military observation satellites Helios 2, as the first satellite will be placed in orbit in December 2016. Resolution of the satellites will identify smaller targets, the quantity of images supplied will be enhanced, and timeframes for provision of images for decision-makers and forces will be shortened.

MERLIN is the Franco-German atmospheric methane measurement project as part of the plan to control climatic and environmental changes. Methane is a major greenhouse gas which has undergone inexplicable changes over the last 10 years.

 

About CNES

 

Founded in 1961, the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) is the government agency responsible for shaping and implementing France's space policy in Europe. Its task is to invent the space systems of the future, bring space technologies to maturity and guarantee France's independent access to space. CNES is a pivotal player in Europe's space programme, and a major source of initiatives and proposals that aim to maintain France and Europe's competitive edge.

It conceives and executes space programmes with its partners in the scientific community and industry, and is closely involved in many international cooperation programmes—the key to any far-reaching space policy. Through its ability to innovate and its forward-looking vision, CNES is helping to foster new technologies that will benefit society as a whole, focusing on:

  • access to space
  • civil applications of space
  • sustainable development
  • science and technology research
  • security and defence

Atos Space and Aeronautics Centre of Excellence, based in Toulouse, brings together specialist skills, enabling us to respond to challenges posed by our Aerospace customers with regard to both information technology (complex system architecture, real time techniques, management of standards in place relating to aeronautics and space....) and our clients' core requirements (flight dynamics, physics, structural mechanics, digital simulations and probability, calculation of orbit, satellite navigation....).

The teams within this centre also draw on the Group's substantial skill-base with regard to critical, on-board and security systems. Our outstanding skills in critical systems has enabled us to be a partner within the French electro-nuclear programme for 30 years, and the only large IT services company able to supply digital control systems for nuclear power plants.

Atos teams have contributed to the success of more than 50 space programmes and collaborated on a large number of projects for the CNES (the French Space Agency) and major industrial players within the sector (EADS, Thales Alenia Space) over the past twenty years.

 

About Atos

 

Atos SE (Societas europaea) is an international information technology services company with annual 2012 revenue of EUR 8.8 billion and 76,400 employees in 47 countries. Serving a global client base, it delivers hi-tech transactional services, consulting and technology services, systems integration and managed services. With its deep technology expertise and industry knowledge, it works with clients across the following market sectors: Manufacturing, Retail, Services; Public, Health & Transports; Financial Services; Telecoms, Media & Technology; Energy & Utilities. Atos is focused on business technology that powers progress and helps organizations to create their firm of the future. It is the Worldwide Information Technology Partner for the Olympic and Paralympic Games and is quoted on the Paris Eurolist Market. Atos operates under the brands Atos, Atos Consulting & Technology Services, Atos Worldline and Atos Worldgrid.

 

About Thales

 

Thales is a global technology leader for the Defence & Security and the Aerospace & Transportation markets. In 2012, the company generated revenues of €14.2 billion with 67,000 employees in 56 countries. With its 25,000 engineers and researchers, Thales has a unique capability to design, develop and deploy equipment, systems and services that meet the most complex security requirements. Thales has an exceptional international footprint, with operations around the world working with customers and local partners. www.thalesgroup.com

 

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 telecommunications, radar and optical Earth observation, defense and security, navigation and science. With consolidated revenues of 2.1 billion euros in 2012, Thales Alenia Space has 7,500 employees in France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Belgium and United States. www.thalesaleniaspace.com

 

About Telespazio

 

Telespazio, a joint venture between Finmeccanica (67%) and Thales (33%), is one of the world's leading operators in satellite management services, Earth observation and satellite navigation, as well as in the field of integrated communications and scientific programmes. Telespazio plays a leading role in the reference markets harnessing technological experience acquired over the years and through its participation in major European space programmes such as: Galileo, EGNOS, GMES and COSMO-SkyMed. The company in 2011 generated sales of EUR 475 million, and employed around 2,500 staff. Telespazio, a Finmeccanica/Thales company, operates in France through its subsidiary Telespazio France, which is headquartered in Toulouse and has offices in Paris and Kourou. In Germany, Telespazio is represented , for this contract, by Telespazio Vega Deutschland.

 

About Spacebel

 

Established since 1988, SPACEBEL is a Belgian Space engineering company that has grown in the Space market to become a trusted developer of advanced IT solutions and a related service provider. Today, SPACEBEL is in the international mix of small satellite system suppliers. The company operates in the Space and Earth monitoring applications sectors, serving Space agencies, government departments, major aerospace companies, European institutions as well as the commercial market. Our skills range from the mission definition and analysis of Earth observation microsatellites, over the design, development, integration, validation of IT systems for the Space industry to geospatial information systems.

 

About Scassi Conseil

 

Scassi Conseil is a consulting and engineering company, specializing in information systems and embedded systems security. Located in Toulouse, Paris and Madrid, we manage risks for our clients: large companies in industrial, banking and public sectors. We have a double mission: first, we enable our clients to protect their information and technical assets, and second, we accompany them to make their embedded systems more secure. In this frame, we work on the convergence of security and safety. We offer expertise in audit (Pen Tests, code audits…), advice (security policy, Business Continuity Plan…) and engineering (security in development of embedded software). We provide tailor-made answers to our clients' needs, as we combine technical expertise and human factor approach. We are a training center and the leader of a European R&D project. Innovation is at the heart of our strategy and we dedicate each year 15 % of our revenue to R&D.

 

For more information

Atos :

Anne de Beaumont

+33 6 23 76 19 41

anne.debeaumont@atos.net

 

Thales :

Dorothée Bonneil

+33 1 57 77 90 89

dorothee.bonneil@thalesgroup.com