From: Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES)
Posted: Wednesday, November 30, 2005
** 1: CNES SIGNS COOPERATION AGREEMENTS WITH AUSTRIAN FFG ON PLEIADES AND COROT PROGRAMS
On November 22 the president of CNES, Yannick d'Escatha, and the two directors of Austria's FFG (The Austrian Research Center) signed cooperation agreements in regards to the Pleiades and Corot satellite programs. The Pleiades High Resolution observation mission is designed to meet the needs of both the civil and security sectors when it comes to its operational capacity, the rapid access to its data and the competitiveness of its services. The FFG's contribution will be in the areas of programming and the production of images. The FFG is also eager to participate in the Corot mission which will study the internal structure of stars and search for exoplanets. Austria will supply some of the electronic equipment for the satellite and will support CNES in the integration of the equipment and in the exploitation phase. [CNES & FFG 11/23/05]
** 2: MORE AND MORE FRENCH AIRPORTS EMPLOYING SATELLITE GUIDED APPROACH SYSTEM
More and more French airports are applying the satellite guided approach system for aircraft. For the moment only small to medium sized airports (such as Cayenne, Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon and Lyon-Bron) are using this technology but the DGAC (French civil aviation agency) hopes to add twenty other airports per year to this list. The first five airports were chosen for their relatively small size and the low number of in-coming aircraft as to not hinder air service. The arrival in 2007 of EGNOS (European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service), the European equivalent of the American WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation System), will further improve the safety of certain aircraft approaches. With EGNOS, APV (Approach with Vertical Guidance) approaches will be possible. Following the trend, Air France has started training its flight crews in GPS guided approaches. [Air & Cosmos 11/25/05]
** 3: CAN SATELLITES BE USED TO PREDICT EARTHQUAKES?
Scientists are hoping that they have unlocked the mystery of predicting earthquakes with their study of electromagnetic radiation. Predicting earthquakes has always been an elusive art but recently some scientists have been able to detect electromagnetic pulses coming from the ground and electromagnetic disturbances in the ionosphere. Since its first discovery about twenty years ago, scientists around the world have noticed that electromagnetic noise increases in the weeks, or even months, before an earthquake. Although scientists are rightfully cautious, many believe that the key to predicting earthquakes is in the atmosphere. Michel Parrot, a scientist at CNRS (France's National Council for Scientific Research and a sister agency to CNES), is one of them. He is studying the preliminary data from CNES' DEMETER (Detector for Electromagnetic Emissions Transmitted from Earthquake Regions) satellite which could measure an increase in ion density and temperature in the ionosphere in the days before an earthquake. For example, such an observation was made seven days before a magnitude 7 quake hit Japan's Kii peninsula on September 5, 2004. [http://www.newscientistspace.com/article/mg18825266.900 11/18/05]
** 4: VENUS EXPRESS' IMAGING SPECTOMETER CAPTURES EARTH, MOON
Venus Express has already sent back its first remote-sensing data obtained by the VIRTIS imaging spectrometer; it used the Earth and Moon as a reference. The images obtained were part of the overall check-up of the spacecraft's instruments. Because they were taken from such a distance, the images are not of great interest to the general public but to the scientists working on the mission they confirm the excellent operation of the instrument. They are now confident that they will have good results when the spacecraft reaches Venus, where the images will be taken 100 times closer. [ESA 11/25/05]
** 5: BOEING STRIKE PUTS CALIPSO LAUNCH ON HOLD
A machinists strike at Boeing and the closure of the Vandenberg Air Force Base, in California, for repairs (from December 19th to February 10th) has delayed the launch of the Calipso and CloudSat satellites until mid-February 2006 at the earliest. Calipso has been placed in security and will stay at Vandenberg until a launch date can be set. [CNES 11/29/05]
** 6: EUROPEAN COMMISSION GRANTS BROADER ACCESS TO ISS
The European Commission has decided that it will finance a broader access to the International Space Station to a wider international community. Priority, however, will go to scientists, and to SMEs (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises), especially those coming from new EU Member States, such as Cyprus, Poland and Czech Republic, and the two acceding States, Bulgaria and Romania. In the past, the opportunity to carry out research on-board the ISS was limited to the Member States of ESA. The project SURE (The ISS: a Unique REsearch infrastructure) was developed by ESA to allow scientists and SMEs to access this one of a kind infrastructure. [European Commission 11/27/05] For more information: http://www.spaceflight.esa.int/sure
** 7: IN BRIEF
The AMC-23 communications satellite, built by Alcatel Alenia Space and to be used by SES Americom, is ready to be integrated on the Proton/Breeze M rocket in Baikonur. The launch date has been set for December 6, 2005 by International Launch Services. This high-powered satellite will operate over the Pacific region and will supply communication capabilities to customers all across Western North America, Eastern Asia and the South Pacific. [Alcatel Alenia Space 11/30/05]
Eutelsat has announced it will launch its IPO once again in hopes of seducing investors. The share price has been lowered as well to between $11.75 and $12.75 but the overall size of the operation will stay the same, 73.2 million shares will be offered which is equivalent to 34% of the capital. [Les Echos 11/30/05, La Tribune 11/29/05]
France In Space is a weekly synthesis of French space activities based on French press. Its content does not reflect an official position of the French Government or CNES. It is provided by the CNES office and the Office of Science and Technology of the French Embassy in Washington D.C Editors: Jean-Jacques Tortora, Noëlle Miliard, Clémence Le Fèvre.
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