HELIOS-2A: For Security and Defence
Off she went! The teams in charge of the HELIOS-2A project are congratulating themselves with the successful launch of this French spy-satellite.
SPACEBEL is also contributing, in particular as far as the exploitation of the data delivered by the platform is concerned.
On December 18th 2004, HELIOS-2A left the Guiana space centre on board of an Ariane-5 rocket to join its predecessors HELIOS-1A and 1B in Space.
Weighing 4.200 kg, the military observation satellite will reinforce the existing system while enhancing its capacity in terms of resolution, access to images and photograph shooting. Thanks to the new system, the French Ministry of Defence will be able to observe day and night in all conditions.
The HELIOS-2 programme comprising 2 satellites has been developed by France in co-operation with Spain and Belgium. Our country joined in the operation by setting up a reception and imagery treatment station. This Belgian Main HELIOS Centre (BMHC) located in Evere will be used by the Belgian forces to programme the mission and exploit the HELIOS-2 observation data.
Under the control of the French company EADS-Astrium, three Belgian industrialists – amongst others SPACEBEL – are actively participating in the operational start-up of the BMHC. For several months, three SPACEBEL engineers have been involved in the installation, qualification, maintenance of the BMHC and training of the servicemen. The team aims at getting the BMHC ready for the putting into orbit of HELIOS-2A.