July 9, 2020

ANGELS, the first French commercial nanosatellite, is operational.

ANGELS, placed into orbit on 18 December 2019 and with new flight software, is living up to its promises. It is now fully accomplishing the missions for which it was designed by HEMERIA in partnership with the French space agency CNES.

In-orbit commissioning on the ANGELS nanosatellite of the Argos-Neo payload developed by Thales and Syrlinks is progressing nominally. This new mission, the latest addition to the Argos system, will soon be set to enter operational service.

The teams at HEMERIA, KINEIS and CNES will thus be able to take full advantage of this in-orbit demonstrator to lay the groundwork for development of the KINEIS constellation of 25 nanosatellites dedicated to the Internet of Things (IoT).

Developing a new satellite and getting it operational in less than 24 months was a challenge. CNES and HEMERIA have pulled it off by working together in a whole new way to conceive a series of nanosatellites of which ANGELS is the first. Co-funding, knowledge transfer and agile project management have enabled the partners to reach very ambitious goals at reduced cost.

Caroline Laurent, CNES’S Director of Orbital Systems, commented: “ANGELS is a fine partnership that marks CNES’s entry as a fully-fledged player into the NewSpace market, as well as the emergence of HEMERIA. It is also the result of innovative methods involving integrated CNES-HEMERIA project teams and shared learning, as well as CNES’s willingness to work differently to effectively nurture a new entrant in the small satellite market. And it proves the concept of the KINEIS constellation in development at HEMERIA through our continuing and evolving collaboration.”

New projects such as lookout nanosatellites are also being matured to serve France’s new active space defence doctrine.

HEMERIA’s CEO Nicolas Multan added: “The nanosat adventure began for HEMERIA back in 2009, when we first started thinking about making cubesats and nanosats that would be a commercial product no longer restricted to in-orbit demonstrators. Ten years on, we were delighted to orbit ANGELS, the result of a great partnership with CNES, to whom we owe many thanks. ANGELS has now been in orbit for six months and is in great shape, which reassures us about the quality of the development work conducted with CNES, and means that we can now move our attention to the ongoing development of the KINEIS constellation. This truly is a great story in the making!”

ANGELS thus proves that government action combined with entrepreneurial initiative can be a win-win proposition.

Pascale Bresson    Press Officer    Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 75 39    pascale.bresson@cnes.fr
Raphaël Sart    Press Officer    Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 74 51    raphael.sart@cnes.fr