EADS and Algeria’s space agency in observation satellite deal

EADS Astrium has signed a contract with Algeria’s National Space Technology Centre (CNTS) for developing its ALSAT-2 system, comprising two optical observation satellites.

The system is designed to enable the country to obtain very high quality images for use in a wide variety of applications, including cartography, forestry, the search for mineral and oil resources, crop protection and land planning.

ALSAT-2A will be built and tested at EADS Astrium, while ALSAT-2B, will be assembled in Algeria at the country’s small satellite development centre in Oran.

The programme also includes the construction of two ground control segments and one image station allowing the satellite to be controlled from Algerian territory.

ALSAT-2’s technological sophistication is the result of EADS Astrium’s extensive work in Earth observation, particularly on silicon carbide telescopes which are currently being integrated for the first time on to a Myriade-class satellite platform, designed in co-operation with French space agency CNES.

ALSAT’s imaging capability extends to the latest generation payload capable of supplying images with a resolution of 2.5 million in panchromatic mode, and 10 million in each of the four colour bands in multispectral mode.

This will be the fifth contract signed by EADS Astrium with an export customer in the Earth observation field, following similar projects involving Korea and Thailand.

The agreement is designed to allow Algerian engineers to work side by side with the EADS Astrium development team and receive intensive training in space technology. It is hoped the contract will lay the foundations for sustained co-operation with Algerian institutions in the fields of space technology for Earth observation and its applications.