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New success for Thales Alenia Space: RADARSAT2 Earth observation satellite launched

14 December 2007

Cannes, December 14, 2007 - Thales Alenia Space, the provider of the RADARSAT2 platform and key elements of the active antenna for the prime contractor MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA), applauds today's successful launch of the Earth Observation Satellite from the Baikonur Cosmodrome (Kazakhstan) by a Soyuz Fregat rocket.

RADARSAT is Canada's next-generation commercial Earth Observation System based on Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellites. It aims at providing high-resolution images for marine surveillance, ice monitoring, disaster management, environmental monitoring, natural resources management and mapping.

RADARSAT2 will provide additional capabilities, complementing and then replacing the RADARSAT1 satellite, which was launched in November 1995. RADARSAT2 comprises a 15-metre-long and 1.5-metre-high SAR antenna and has a lifetime of 7 years. It will be placed on a sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of around 800 km.

Thales Alenia Space, under a contract worth around 100 million Canadian dollars (around 65 million euro), manufactured the satellite platform and participated with MDA in the overall satellite design. Thales Alenia Space provided the structure and the avionic part of the satellite, the radar-to-ground data transmission system as well as the transmit-receiver modules, key technology of the active antenna.

RADARSAT2 platform is based on the developments coming from the Italian PRIMA platform, financed by the Italian Space Agency (ASI). PRIMA has been already successfully used for COSMO-SkyMed and for ESA's GMES/Sentinel 1 satellite program, which is currently on going.

Thales Alenia Space has also contributed to the integration and testing of the satellite at David Florida Laboratory (Canada) and to the launch campaign in Baikonur. The company is also currently involved in testing the operational functionality of the platform in orbit at the St Hubert control centre in Canada.

The success of the program once again confirms the viability of the PRIMA platform, manufactured by Thales Alenia Space.

About Thales Alenia Space
The European leader in satellite systems and a major player in orbital infrastructures, Thales Alenia Space is a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Finmeccanica (33%). Thales Alenia Space and Telespazio embody the two groups' "Space Alliance". Thales Alenia Space sets the global standard in solutions for space telecoms, radar and optical Earth observation, defense and security, navigation and science. The company has a total of 7,200 employees and 11 industrial sites, with locations in France, Italy, Spain and Belgium.

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