Launch of the First French CSO Satellite – SPACEBEL Bringing its Know-How to this Satellite Intelligence Programme

On December 19th 2018 at 5:37 PM (Belgian time), France will send its first CSO military observation satellite into Space aboard a Soyuz rocket from the European Space Centre in Kourou (French Guiana).

The three CSO (Optical Space Component) satellites are part of the European MUSIS (Multinational Space-based Imaging System) initiative initiated by France in cooperation with Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain and Greece. This is a new generation of space capabilities developed under the leadership of CNES on behalf of the French Defence Ministry (DGA). Aim: replace the current Helios-2 system, which has been in service since 2004, and support the military forces in the field of intelligence and the conduct of operations.

Thanks to new and ever more efficient technologies, CSO will allow constant observation day and night, the identification of smaller targets and the availability of images in a shorter time frame.

In 2013, SPACEBEL won several contracts under this ambitious programme, while we have already been contributing to the ground segment of the Helios programme since 2003.

SPACEBEL participates in the development of the CSO mission ground segment under the responsibility of CNES, the French Space Agency. For the programming centre, our company is responsible for the development of programming components; we also provide support in the engineering and integration-validation phases. For the multi-mission control centre, SPACEBEL is in charge of the automation system. Finally, for the image chain, SPACEBEL designs and develops general services.

Watch the launch live: https://cso.cnes.fr/fr/direct-lancement-soyouz-vs20-cso1

Published December 17th, 2018