September 24, 2018

France-Norway space cooperation CNES and NSC sign new partnership agreement in the presence of the Queen of Norway

Monday 24 September, during the visit of Queen Sonja of Norway to Rouen and in the presence of Frédérique Vidal, France’s Minister for Higher Education, Research and Innovation, and Iselin Nybø, Norway’s Minister for Science and Higher Education, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall and Christian Hauglie-Hanssen, Director General of the Norwegian Space Centre (NSC), signed a cooperation agreement relating to the NorSat-3 maritime surveillance mission.

Cooperation between CNES and NSC is underpinned by signed a framework agreement defining procedures for future specific joint missions. The agreement signed today for the NorSat-3 mission is a new extension of the longstanding ties that France and Norway have forged in space.

NSC began development in December last year of the NorSat-3 maritime surveillance microsatellite being built with FFI, the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment. This programme intends to place two payloads into orbit: an experimental maritime navigation radar sensor and an AIS (Automatic Identification System) receiver identical to those on NorSat-1 and NorSat-2. Using a radar sensor alongside the AIS receiver will notably make it possible to check that received messages are authentic and correct.

Under the agreement, CNES will supply the antenna designer with modelling resources and expertise in the choice of materials. It will also provide its know-how in hardware and software design for the processing board developed by FFI, and support in drawing up a radiation test plan and in analysis of results. CNES will also be called upon to take part in reviews of the microsatellite where needed. In return, CNES will receive location data and charts generated from ships’ AIS and radar signals.

After signing the agreement, Jean-Yves Le Gall commented: “This latest cooperation agreement between France and Norway is a logical extension of the framework agreement signed in 2007, the 10th anniversary of which we celebrated last year. We are continuing to work together fruitfully in space, as shown by this new collaboration on NorSat-3.”

Pascale Bresson    Press Officer    Tel: +33 (0)1 44 76 75 39
Raphaël Sart    Press Officer    Tel: +33 (0)1 44 76 74 51
Sébastien Martignac    Press Officer    Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 78 35