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Thales Alenia Space at the forefront of high-priority environmental missions

  • 2 new contracts signed today between Thales Alenia Space and the European Space Agency in the presence of French minister, Bruno Le Maire and Italian Undersecretary  Riccardo Fraccaro
  • Involved in 5 out of 6 Copernicus expansion new missions
  • Prime contractor for CHIME, CIMR and ROSE-L, leading industrial consortium from France and Italy


Cannes, November 13,  2020 – Thales Alenia Space, a Joint Venture between Thales (67 %) and Leonardo (33 %), signed today with the European Space Agency (ESA) 2 new contracts in the frame of the new high-priority Copernicus satellite missions planned to expand the current capabilities of the Sentinels and serve EU policy as well as citizens needs.


From left to right: Hervé Derrey (Thales Alenia Space CEO), Bruno Le Maire (French Ministry of Economy and Finance) and Patrice Caine (Thales CEO).


The Copernicus Hyperspectral Imaging Mission, CHIME, worth €455 million contract, was signed by Hervé Derrey, CEO of Thales Alenia Space in the presence of Bruno Le Maire, French Ministry of Economy and Finance.


From left to right: Massimo Claudio Comparini (Senior Executive Vice President Observation, Exploration and Navigation at Thales Alenia Space), Riccardo Fraccaro (Under Secretary of the Council of Ministers of Italy) and Joseph Aschbacher, ESA Director of Earth Observation Programmes.


The Copernicus Imaging Microwave Radiometer, mission, CIMR, was signed by Massimo Claudio Comparini, Senior Executive Vice President Observation, Exploration and Navigation at Thales Alenia Space and CEO of Thales Alenia Space Italy in the presence of the Under Secretary of the Council of Ministers of Italy, Riccardo Fraccaro. The contract is worth €495 million.

Thales Alenia Space will also be responsible for the payload development for CO2M mission, that is dedicated to measuring global anthropogenic CO2  emissions  and  thus playing  a  key  role  in  studying  the  causes  of  climate change and monitoring it. The company will also provide the IRIS altimeter onboard CRISTAL mission.

The order volume resulting from the recent bid decisions is expected to be around EUR 1.8 billion. This represents hundreds of highly qualified jobs and scientific and industrial know-how, all located in Europe.

“We are very honored to sign today 2 new contracts in the frame of the Copernicus expansion missions. Thales Alenia Space confirms its ability to serve crucial environmental missions for Europe. We really want to thank all the actors who worked to make these projects a reality, mainly ESA, European Commission, member  States and national agencies, in particular the main contributors to these projects, which are Italy and France. Through its strong presence in the two countries, Thales Alenia Space has been the key industrial actor of this cooperation in the field of satellites”, declared Herve Derrey, CEO of Thales Alenia Space.

Massimo Claudio Comparini Senior Executive Vice President Observation, Exploration and Navigation at Thales Alenia Space, commented: “Integration of space optical and radar sensors is essential to monitor Earth, its evolution and pattern of life. Thales Alenia Space covers full range of innovative solutions and heavily contributes to the incredible industrial challenge posed by Copernicus extension for a sustainable planet. We are fully committed to the projects, and thanks to advanced instruments and highly reliable space systems, Thales Alenia Space will play a key role in enabling the future of climate monitoring and an efficient and safe exploitation of Earth’s resources”.


CHIME mission will carry a unique visible to shortwave infrared spectrometer. It will provide routine hyperspectral observations to support new and enhanced services for sustainable agricultural and biodiversity management, as well to characterise soil properties, which is key to healthy vegetation. The high technology payload will benefit from Leonardo and OHB experience in hyperspectral instruments.



Carrying a novel ‘conically-scanning’ multi-frequency microwave radiometer, CIMR  mission will measure sea-surface temperature, sea-ice concentration and sea-surface salinity. It will also observe a wide range of other sea-ice parameters such as sea-ice thickness and sea-ice drift. CIMR is being developed in response to high-priority requirements from key Arctic user communities and will support the EU Integrated Policy for the Arctic. This mission will be developed with OHB as main industrial partner.


Artistic views: © Thales Alenia Space/Briot


Drawing on over 40 years of experience and a unique combination of skills, expertise and cultures, Thales Alenia Space delivers cost-effective solutions for telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, environmental management, exploration, science and orbital infrastructures. Governments and private industry alike count on Thales Alenia Space to design satellite-based systems that provide anytime, anywhere connections and positioning, monitor our planet, enhance management of its resources, and explore our Solar System and beyond. Thales Alenia Space sees space as a new horizon, helping to build a better, more sustainable life on Earth. A joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), Thales Alenia Space also teams up with Telespazio to form the parent companies’ Space Alliance, which offers a complete range of services. Thales Alenia Space posted consolidated revenues of approximately 2.15 billion euros in 2019 and has around 7,700 employees in nine countries.



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