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Spanish Space Technology for observation and intelligence missions

Thales Alenia Space España is awarded contracts worth more than €11 million for the MUSIS program

15:22 GMT, June 7, 2011 Thales Alenia Space España has been awarded important contracts summing up to a value of more than 7.5 million Euros. These contracts are for the MUSIS program for Earth observation. The company will be entrusted with the design, development, manufacturing, qualification, supply of electronics for the focal plane of the optical instrument (FPPB), and the service module (MSI) for the two first high optical resolution CSO satellites of the European MUSIS program, while having the option of a third one.

The CSO (Optical Space Component) is the French government contribution to the future MUSIS (Multinational Space-based Imaging System) constellation, that will include optical and radar space components. The CSO satellites realization contract has been awarded end 2010 to Astrium by CNES, who was acting as delegate contracting authority on behalf the DGA (Direction Générale de l’Armement). These satellites will replace the current Helios 2 observational system.. Thales Alenia Space France is responsible for the Optical Payload (Instrument) and also will deliver to Astrium, the Solar Arrays, the X-band downlink sub-system and the Encryption Unit.”

The Multinational Space-Based Imaging System (MUSIS) is a multinational program carried out by various European countries. The objective is to construct a common space infrastructure by combining national and/or bilateral programs, allowing the collaboration of these nations and providing them with the next-generation of European satellite intelligence systems, substituting their current national platforms. Through this, the contributing countries will reinforce their capacities and autonomy in the issue of surveillance, observation and reconnaissance.

Within the Thales Group, Thales Alenia Space España is considered to be a competence centre with regard to optical payloads of medium resolution (between 5 and 10 meters) used for scientific and Earth observation. The company uses a pioneer optical detection laboratory for the design, development and integration of subsystems for optical detection, allowing precise characterization of image sensor, integration and detection systems tests. Similarly, Thales Alenia Space España is extremely active in various projects, such as the national (Spanish) program of Earth observation INGENIO, the SENTINEL satellites for Europe’s Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) programme, and is currently working on a civil and military satellite for a member state of the NATO, developing the high resolution electronic proximity for optical observation; all adding up to contracts worth more than 30 million Euros.

Juan Garcés de Marcilla, President and CEO of Thales Alenia Space España said: “I am extremely satisfied with the awarding of this contract, it recognizes our ability and leadership in payloads for optical observation, as well as showing the trust which our clients have in our company.” Garcés de Marcilla also said to “feel proud of the excellent competitive development in the exterior market, as it is the competition which allows us to strengthen our collaboration with the largest European space companies, consolidating and placing us at the forefront of the Spanish market in terms of technology for missions of observation and science.”

Thales is a global technology leader for the defence & security and the aerospace & transport markets. In 2010 the company generated revenues of £11.2 billion (€13.1 billion), with 68,000 employees in 50 countries. With its 22,500 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 as local partners.