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Sagem Défense Sécurité to make mirrors for Gaia scientific satellite

Paris, Le Bourget,
47th International Paris Air Show - June 18, 2007 -- Sagem Défense Sécurité (SAFRAN Group) has signed a contract with EADS Astrium to produce large mirrors for the European Space Agency’s Gaia satellite. The mirrors will be delivered in 2008, with the launch of Gaia slated for 2011.

The Sagem Défense Sécurité’s REOSC department will manufacture the main mirror for Gaia’s telescope, as well as the mirrors used for the satellite’s ground measurements. The 1.5 x 0.5m main mirror is made using a silicon carbide substance produced by Boostec. The mirror surface’s profile must be machined and polished with precision less than 10 nanometers (ten millionths of a millimeter) to allow the telescope to deliver images of unequalled quality.

Gaia is an astrometry satellite with unparalleled precision, designed to measure distances, movements and magnitudes of more than a billion celestial objects. Its mission will be to hone the models and theories of the evolution of our galaxy, discover tens of thousands of additional planetary systems and carry out new tests on general relativity.

The Sagem Défense Sécurité REOSC’s technological prowess was a determining factor in EADS Astrium’s and ESA’s choice. Sagem Défense Sécurité is the only entity in Europe that masters polishing and treatment with large SiC substrates to an accuracy within several nanometers.

Sagem Défense Sécurité is involved in major programs that require extensive multidisciplinary expertise. It develops and produces advanced space optics, high-energy lasers and microelectronics.


About Sagem Défense Sécurité :

Sagem Défense Sécurité is a high-technology company in the SAFRAN Group. As a leading European defense and security electronics company in Europe, its business covers three main fields: navigation and aeronautics systems, where it is the world leader in helicopter flight control; optronics and air-land systems, where it is the European leader in surveillance and fire-control optronics; and the field of security, where it is the world leader in fingerprint-based biometrics.

Its equipment and integrated systems are used worldwide, helping to ensure air transport safety, secure data transmission, personal security and governmental defense capabilities at the highest level. Through the SAFRAN Group, Sagem Défense Sécurité is present on all continents.

For further information: www.sagem-ds.com

Sagem Défense Sécurité
Philippe Wodka-Gallien
Press manager
Tel.: +33 (0)1 58 11 19 49
email : philippe.wodka-gallien@sagem.com


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