As the operator of the Guiana Space Centre (CSG), CNES is responsible on behalf of the French government for assuring the safety of people and property on each launch from the base, a task that involves being able to track launchers very precisely at all times so that a flight can be terminated if it poses a risk. This tracking function is currently accomplished by a suite of radars.
A first version of the KASSAV1 autonomous range safety system set to enter service in 2019 will enable more precise tracking of launchers. A second version will subsequently provide the ability for launch vehicles to make flight termination decisions autonomously in the event of a major anomaly. KASSAV will thus reduce the launch base’s operating costs because fewer radars will be needed and turnarounds between launches will be faster, while also improving safety.
Designed by Zodiac Data Systems, KASSAV employs an innovative hybrid technology that combines positioning data from an inertial measurement unit (IMU) with a receiver using navigation data from the European Galileo constellation, which offers greater precision than the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS).
KASSAV is scheduled to enter operational service in late 2019 on an Ariane 5 launcher. Ultimately, it will equip all launchers operated from the CSG, as well as the Callisto demonstrator vehicle.
After the signing of the contract, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall commented: “KASSAV will make sure the Guiana Space Centre remains the best launch base in the world while making it even safer and more competitive”.
1 Kit Autonome de Sécurité pour la SAuvegarde en Vol