June 10, 2015


The objective of the CERES (CapacitÉ de Renseignement Électromagnétique Spatiale) military electronic intelligence mission is to gather signals intelligence from areas that surface sensors cannot reach, free from airspace overflight constraints and in all weathers, thus providing an in-depth situational picture to support conception and execution of military operations. It is scheduled to launch in 2020.

CERES will rely on three satellites flying in formation in low-Earth orbit. Signals collected by each satellite will be combined to precisely locate detected communication systems. CNES is providing oversight assistance within an integrated project team with the French defence procurement agency DGA and has been delegated responsibility for procuring launch services, for the ground control segment built around the ISIS (Initiative for Space Innovative Standards) control centre product line and for orbital analyses. The satellites will be operated and tracked by CNES and the project contractors are Airbus Defence & Space, Thales Airborne Systems and Thales Alenia Space.