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ESSAIM, Micro-Satellites In Formation

The Essaim demonstrator is a system of several micro-satellites for electro-magnetic environment analysis of the Earthís surface for which EADS Astrium is prime contractor to the French Ministry of Defence
Paris, France (SPX) Jul 03, 2005
The ESSAIM micro-satellites, launched at the end of 2004, have been operational since May, 2005. The French defence procurement agency DGA chose EADS Astrium as a joint prime contractor for the development of the ESSAIM system.

This demonstrator, based on 4 micro-satellites flying in formation through space, will analyze the electromagnetic environment on the ground in a number of frequency bands used exclusively for military communications.

The ESSAIM program is a "turnkey" system, comprising the space segment, ground segment, satellite launch facilities and operations. The other partner in this program, Thales Airborne Systems, is contributing its electromagnetic systems expertise.

Space segmentThe space segment comprises four satellites, flying in controlled formation in two out-of-phase orbits. The four 120-kg micro-satellites are based on the Myriade platform, developed by French space agency CNES in partnership with EADS Astrium.

This program features the very latest space technologies to meet the payload weight and size restrictions imposed by micro-satellites. These technologies include triple junction gallium arsenide solar cells, lithium-ion batteries, highly-integrated electronic components and fiber-optic gyros.

Ground segmentCo-located X-band terminals at the mission centre at the DGA's weapons electronics centre (CELAR) in Bruz, near Rennes in western France will receive the data stored on the satellites, as they become visible.

The dedicated ESSAIM satellite control centre is located at the CNES facility in Toulouse, near CNES's other Myriade micro-satellite control centers.

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Students Wait To Launch Their Dream Baby
Aalborg, Denmark (ESA) Jun 20, 2005
Many university students spend their time in books, others manage to combine their formal studies with hands-on experience. That is the case of some 300 European students who, next August, hope to see the launch of their dream: a 60-kilogramme satellite.