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ANGELS, France’s first commercial nanosatellite designed by Hemeria, Thales Alenia Space and Syrlinks in partnership with CNES, gets operational life extension on the back of two successful years in orbit.

 In News 2022

ANGELS, France’s first commercial nanosatellite designed by Hemeria in collaboration with CNES, has completed two years in orbit, marking the end of the initial contract between the two partners.

Ten times smaller than its predecessors but delivering five times more performance, ANGELS has proven its reliability, service lifetime and operability, integrating seamlessly with the existing Argos constellation. This result is a testament to the rigour of the teams at Hemeria in charge of the spacecraft bus and satellite integration, and those at Thales Alenia Space and Syrlinks who developed the Argos-Neo instrument payload. It also marks the culmination of a win/win partnership between manufacturers Hemeria, Thales Alenia Space and Syrlinks and the French space agency CNES.

On the back of this success, CNES and Hemeria have signed an agreement to extend the satellite’s lifetime for a further two and a half years.

Hemeria CEO Nicolas Multan commented: “Over the last two years, our satellite has been put through its paces and then finally integrated in the existing Argos constellation. Its reliability, service lifetime and operability have exceeded all expectations, so I think it’s important to highlight this operational success. The other great news is the extension of ANGELS’s lifetime for another two and a half years, making nearly five years in all, which demonstrates CNES’s faith in our solution and is a quite remarkable achievement in this product range, especially for a first like this.”

For CNES Director of Orbital Systems Caroline Laurent, “ANGELS is a first for French industry and CNES in terms of demonstrating new miniaturization and flight agility capabilities in orbit, thanks to breakthrough technologies developed by Hemeria, Thales Alenia Space and Syrlinks. It is the precursor of a series of commercial satellites tailored to the needs of a new generation of space missions complementing traditional programmes. It was also a major milestone step for CNES into the world of New Space, based on new ways of doing things and an innovative organization and methods, with CNES and Hemeria working together on the same platform, co-funding of an in-orbit demonstrator and the agency’s shareholding in Kineis to support the wider service project.”

ANGELS’s technical prowess augurs well for the future Kineis IoT constellation for which Hemeria and Thales Alenia Space are designing all the nanosatellites. “This bodes well for the Kineis constellation that recently completed its Critical Design Review and is set to start orbiting satellites in the first half of 2023” said Nicolas Multan.

Kineis CEO Alexandre Tisserant added: ANGELS is a marvel of technology that meets all our performance expectations for the Internet of Things and has helped us smooth the path for our constellation by validating satellite and instrument technologies and deploying miniaturized, very-low-power terminals. And the twofold extension of ANGELS’s lifetime is great news for us and our thousands of users!

We’re proud to have contributed to this success,” said Benoit Broudy, head of Thales Alenia Space’s Navigation business unit. “Argos-Neo is the miniaturized instrument serving the new expectations of New Space and its recently uplinked features will enable Kineis to test on ANGELS the frequency spectrum required to develop its future IoT constellation.”

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