First project led by Spanish industry to develop an optical observation instrument for the European Space Agency
Madrid, October 14th, 2016
– Thales Alenia Space Spain has signed a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA) for the preliminary technological development of a thermal infrared imaging instrument. Designed to complement the observation capabilities of visible bandwidth imagers on Earth observation satellites, this instrument will be used for remote sensing applications such as water resource management and crop monitoring, a key to addressing the nutritional needs of the world’s population over the next few decades. The need and priority for this technology has recently been confirmed by the user and scientific community1
An innovative concept
The Spanish company will lead a broad industrial consortium comprising Thales Alenia Space France (France), Kampf Telescope Optics (Germany), Leonardo-Finmeccanica (Italy) and SENER (Spain). The new instrument will use a novel approach, based on new advanced detectors, to provide an affordable solution for small Earth observation satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO).
A first in the Spanish space sector
This is the first time that ESA has chosen Spanish industry to lead the development of an optical Earth observation instrument.
Following the signature of this contract, Eduardo Bellido, CEO of Thales Alenia Space Spain, said: “We are proud to have earned ESA’s trust in our ability to lead the development of this infrared imaging instrument. Winning this contract reinforces our strategy of moving up the value chain to assume leadership in the design of complex payloads, and also reflects international recognition of Spanish industry’s leadership and technological capabilities.”
1 Copernicus Agriculture and Forestry Applications User Requirements Workshop, 30 June 2016, Brussels
About Thales Alenia Space Spain
Thales Alenia Space Spain is the country’s leading space company in export markets with over 28 years of experience in the design, development and commercialization of advanced space systems and equipment. The company has contributed to more than 500 satellites, space probes and vehicles used in telecommunications, Earth observation, science, exploration, navigation and orbital infrastructure missions. Investing some 12% of sales in R&D, Thales Alenia Space Spain offers a wide range of solutions spanning the design and integration of payloads and subsystems for telecommunication, data transmission and TT&C (tracking, telemetry and command), optical observation instruments, radiofrequency equipment, data processing and digital electronics, and network management systems for the ground segment.
About Thales Alenia Space
Thales Alenia Space brings over 40 years of experience to the design, integration, testing and operation of innovative space systems for telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, environmental management, exploration, science and orbital infrastructures. A joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo-Finmeccanica (33%), Thales Alenia Space also teams up with Telespazio to form the parent companies’ “Space Alliance”, which offers a complete range of services and solutions. Thales Alenia Space has built up unrivaled expertise in dual (civil-military) missions, constellations, flexible high-throughput payloads, altimetry, meteorology, and high-resolution radar and optical observation, as well as space exploration. The company capitalizes on its strong legacy, while also making innovation a key to its strategy. By offering a continuous stream of new products and expanding its global footprint, Thales Alenia Space has established its leadership in today’s fast-evolving space sector. Thales Alenia Space posted consolidated revenues exceeding 2.1 billion euros in 2015 and has 7,500 employees in nine countries. www.thalesaleniaspace.com
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