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These projects will enable Europe to improve its space and ballistic threat detection capabilities. ArianeGroup will coordinate a consortium of 24 partners in the SAURON project.
Space Situational Awareness (SSA) provides precise information about the status of space traffic (satellites, launches, and space debris), in order to avoid collisions and protect against potential threats. Early Warning capability allows detection and analysis of missile and rocket launches for intelligence and missile defense purposes.
In response to the growing defense challenges in space, ArianeGroup has developed specific tools such as GeoTracker® and laser-based technologies, drawing on its expertise gained with civil and military launchers. Our expertise in major space systems and in the analysis of strategic space issues enables us today to contribute to meeting these major challenges for European security. I would like to thank the authorities of the European Commission for their trust, the French defense procurement agency DGA for its support in the implementation of these three projects, and the ArianeGroup teams for their commitment and excellence.”
The three projects are:
ArianeGroup will coordinate a consortium of 24 partners from nine countries for the SAURON project, which aims to develop innovative sensors to characterize and identify satellites in orbit. ArianeGroup will leverage its architecture and optical design skills to develop a European global characterization network and laser and imaging sensors. Other technologies will be developed by the consortium in the optical and radio-frequency fields, for ground- and space-based observations. A combined testing campaign involving the various sensors developed is scheduled for late 2023.
The INTEGRAL project will be coordinated by the Italian company Vitrociset, a subsidiary of Leonardo. It consists of designing the software for collaborative networking of national operational space surveillance centers. It will be conducted in close collaboration with SAURON, forming the two facets of a future European space surveillance network. ArianeGroup will be responsible for this coordination between the projects and will perform some of the data interchange functions between the national centers.
The ODIN’S EYE project, coordinated by Germany’s OHB, will cover space-based missile early warning, a subject in which ArianeGroup has been active for many years. The project aims to prepare for the development of a capability to detect ballistic and hypersonic missiles as well as civil launchers from space, to contribute to missile defense, non-proliferation monitoring and space surveillance. ArianeGroup will provide its expertise in the field of ballistic and hypersonic threats as well as for missile defense. It will input threat characterizations into the design studies, study techniques for exploiting the measurements taken in order to generate intelligence data and evaluate the contribution of early warning to missile defense.
The developments arising from these projects are intended to be continued and expand under the European Defense Fund (EDF), for which the first call for tender will be issued next year.