French space agency CNES has selected a French mid-tier firm, Nexeya, to pursue efforts to create a national nanosatellite industry. The two partners are investing in a demonstrator called ANGELS.
With a view to structuring a national nanosatellite ecosystem for satellites weighing less than 50kg and in the wake of the earlier Club Nano initiative to federate stakeholders in industry and academia from across the sector, CNES is to develop a demonstrator called ANGELS (for Argos Neo on a Generic Economical and Light Satellite), planned to launch in 2019.
According to Euroconsult, the nanosatellite market is expected to be worth $800bn in the years ahead. CNES is seeking to federate efforts to fuel a competitive nanosatellite industry in France.
Following a request for proposals funded under a public-private partnership and drawing on its R&T studies, CNES has selected a mid-tier firm called Nexeya to pursue this project. Nexeya is a firm with 1,000 employees that is already present in the space sector, designing, integrating and conducting acceptance tests of elements for satellites and ground support equipment.
For the ANGELS project, Nexeya has partnered with subcontractors, some of which are also supplying funding (among them CS, Erems, Mecano-ID, SAFT, Spacebell and Steel). CNES is providing its expertise for the industrial consortium through an integrated project team of engineers with solid experience of space, working at Nexeya.
Nexeya is responsible for development of the bus and final assembly of the demonstrator nanosatellite, while CNES is responsible for the Argos instrument payload being developed by Thales Alenia Space and Syrlinks. CNES will also be responsible for launching and operating the satellite.