Yoda and SPACEBEL: An Innovative Space Intelligence Project
In order to counter the growing number of spying incidents and other unfriendly attempts in Space, France has initiated a Space system to protect its strategic communication and observation satellites.
The name of the programme? Yoda, an acronym standing for "eYes on Orbit for Demonstration of Agility”, which is also a subtle wink at the famous Jedi master from Star Wars.
SPACEBEL is very pleased to be part of this pioneering initiative in Europe.
Led by CNES on behalf of the French army - the DGA (Direction générale de l'armement) - and developed with Hemeria (Toulouse), the project is based on two demonstrators weighing some ten to twenty kilos. The launch of these small " watchdog " satellites into geostationary orbit (at ± 36.000 km from the Earth) is scheduled for 2025. Their role: during 5 to 10 years, they will test satellite approach techniques, dimension payloads for proximity operations and enable ground operators to acquire know-how in manoeuvring such a craft in Space.
If Yoda's results prove entirely convincing, France intends to build a full-scale patrol satellite weighing around 100kg, which would be operational from 2030 onwards.
In the context of this mission, SPACEBEL has been awarded several major simulation contracts, with Hemeria on the one hand and CNES on the other.
A wonderful challenge for our teams!
©Direction générale de l’armement-Défense