The French Space Command is expanding and diversifying its sources of information concerningthe space environment by subscribing to WeTrack™, a global network of radio-frequency (RF)sensors designed, owned and operated by Safran Data Systems. The WeTrack™ service tracksgeostationary satellites, detects their maneuvers and monitors geostationary orbit in general.
RF technology enables the 24/7 real-time positioning and maneuver detection of satellites ingeostationary orbit. With the positioning and maneuvering data delivered by WeTrack™, operatorscan easily and clearly distinguish between two satellites very close to each other, track them andprovide a very accurate measurement of the distance separating them.
With the advent of new spaceborne threats and the growing number of objects orbiting the Earth,space surveillance has become a major challenge for nations seeking to protect their strategic andeconomic interests.
“Our space defense strategy makes space situational awareness a key to meeting our country’sobjectives in this area,” noted Michel Friedling, French Air Force Major General and Head of theSpace Command.
“In 2019 the Minister of the Armed Forces therefore announced the creation of aprogram called ARES (Action et Résilience Spatiale), covering all space surveillance and actioncapabilities. Our strategy recommends a mixture of legacy capabilities and procurement of services.We quickly signed an initial service contract with Safran Data Systems, providing for the delivery ofradio-frequency sensed data, improving our ability to detect, locate and especially characterizeactive objects in space. This is an invaluable asset, and provides an excellent fit with opticalobservation capabilities,” he added.
Jean-Marie Bétermier, CEO of Safran Data Systems, added: “The French Space Command’sselection of our service reflects global recognition for the people who designed and operateWeTrack™. It’s also a clear signal from the space sector, showing that the convergence ofcommercial means and national missions is very much a reality, enabling us to rise to the emergingchallenges of space surveillance and traffic management.”
Safran is an international high-technology group, operating in the aviation (propulsion, equipment andinteriors), defense and space markets. Its core purpose is to contribute to a safer, more sustainable world,where air transport is more environmentally friendly, comfortable and accessible. Safran has a global presence,with 81,000 employees and holds, alone or in partnership, world or regional leadership positions in its coremarkets.
Safran Data Systems, a subsidiary of Safran Electronics & Defense, is a world leader in testinginstrumentation, telemetry and space communications. It makes a complete range of satellite tracking groundstations and equipment, working with satellite manufacturers, integrators, operators and space agencies(communications and Earth observation satellites).