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IET Milsatcoms 2018 Satellite Communications Technology

ANGELS to be ready by end 2019, first French commercial nanosatellite developed in record time

(21 December 2017 - CNES) CNES and Nexeya, who are co-funding and developing ANGELS (Argos Neo on a Generic Economical and Light Satellite), the first series-produced French nanosatellite, have successfully completed the Preliminary Definition Review of the system and satellite, closing out the preliminary design phase in record time just seven months after project kick-off and confirming that the satellite will be ready in late 2019.

This project, launched in May this year, aims to develop a range of commercial satellites weighing less than 50 kilograms designed for radiofrequency-type operational missions like data collection (Argos, AIS, M2M) and spectrum surveillance.

CNES is bringing its disruptive innovation credentials to the project, on both the engineering and governance sides, contributing its know-how to the industrial consortium through a team of engineers with solid experience of space systems working at Nexeya. The agency is thus federating the sector’s top players around an innovative and balanced collaboration by providing its skills and expertise to support entrepreneurial firms.

At the same time, work to miniaturize the Argos-Neo payload by Syrlinks and Thales Alenia Space is moving forward in the same spirit of innovation across all domains of development. All efforts are focused on meeting the extremely ambitious schedule to be ready for launch at the end of 2019, with the first engineering models of the circuit boards already available and the detailed design review to be held early in 2018.

Numerous industry partners such as CS, Erems, Mecano-ID, SAFT, Spacebell and Steel are working alongside Nexeya on the ANGELS project, which is marshalling a range of talents to solve multiple challenges like radiation hardness, perturbing electromagnetic emissions and a particularly short development schedule. With this key milestone now reached, the commercial Smallsat range will soon be ready to enable France’s space industry to contend in the NewSpace arena.