September 8, 2015

CNES sets out science, climate and innovation challenges at GIFAS

Tuesday 8 September, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall sat with the Space Commission of GIFAS, the French aerospace industries association, at its monthly meeting to review key strategies pursued by the main national and European players in space.

GIFAS, the French aerospace industries association, has more than 350 members from major prime contractors and system suppliers to small specialist companies, covering the full spectrum of skills from the design, development and production of aerospace systems and equipment to maintenance and operation.

At the commission’s meeting, Jean-Yves Le Gall reviewed recent events that have made the headlines in space, beginning with the Rosetta-Philae mission that captured the world’s attention and the signature in August of three contracts worth a total of €3.4 billion between CNES, ESA and Airbus Safran Launchers to start development of Ariane 6 and its future launch complex, for which CNES is prime contractor, and development of Vega-C.

Europe’s Copernicus environment and security programme is also set to generate an unprecedented wealth of data. To meet France’s needs, CNES is providing free access to these data via its Sentinel Product Exploitation Platform (PEPS).

The CNES President subsequently focused on major missions such as InSight, Mars 2020, SWOT, CFOSat, SVOM and MERLIN. “But 2015 is indisputably the year of climate, with the COP 21 conference that France is hosting in Paris this December. Satellites are the tools enabling us to keep track of climate and ensure that commitments made at COP 21 will be honoured,” he affirmed.

For example, Jason 3 is set to drive the continued development of space oceanography, while joint developments like IASI NG, SWOT and MERLIN will provide new and essential tools to explore and probe our planet.

With regard to budgetary aspects and allocation of funding from the government’s PIA future investment plan, Jean-Yves Le Gall stressed that all the agency’s partners ministries, contractors, research bodies and space agencies are particularly satisfied with ongoing cooperation efforts.

Lastly, he touched on the reorganization that CNES is undertaking to sharpen the agency’s focus on innovation. “These new structures will be geared towards continuing to foster cooperation and will be driven by demand pull rather than technology push,” he explained.

Pascale Bresson    Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 75 39
Alain Delrieu    Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 74 04
Julien Watelet    Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 78 37