Tuesday 12 March, the 358th session of CNES’s Board of Directors was held at the agency’s Head Office in Paris Les Halles. On this occasion, the Board gave the go-ahead for the CO3D project and reviewed the agency’s programmatic activities.
Succeeding the stereoviewing capability of the Pleiades satellites, the CO3D constellation of optical minisatellites is set to come on stream in 2022. This constellation will provide submetric imagery for production of digital surface models (DSMs) of any point on the globe with an elevation accuracy of one metre. CNES’s Board of Directors gave the go-ahead today for the next phases of the project from definition and development through to in-orbit testing and operation of the full system.
The Board underlined the inauguration of ArianeWorks, a joint initiative of CNES and ArianeGroup aimed at boosting innovation for the development of future launch vehicles. Its chief mission is to chart the roadmap for Ariane Next and in particular its first phase, the Themis demonstrator. ArianeWorks ties in with preparations in the lead-up to this year’s ESA Ministerial Conference and its results will be made available to ESA.
The Board also recalled the success of the 11th European Space Policy Conference organized by CNES and the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), which brought together Europe’s key players in space, and the announcement at the beginning of the year by Frédérique Vidal, the Minister for Higher Education, Research and Innovation, that Thomas Pesquet will be returning to the International Space Station late in 2020.
In the field of international relations, three agreements were signed recently with Australia on tackling climate change, innovation and human spaceflight, making France the first international partner of the newly formed Australian Space Agency (ASA).
At the end of today’s meeting, François Houllier, Chairman & CEO of IFREMER, the French institute of marine research and exploration, was appointed to the Audit Committee of CNES’s Board of Directors.
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