space agency CNES has awarded a 150 million euro contract to Alcatel Space,
at the head of a European consortium of companies from France, Italy and
Spain, to provide technical services for the Guiana Space Center in Kourou,
French Guiana. This major five year contract, signalling enhanced
operational responsibility for the highly successful Ariane family of
launchers, reflects Alcatel Space’s top-quality service offering and
recognized expertise, especially in satellite and launcher control. In line
with CNES’s request for greater involvement by European industry, the
participation of co-contractors Vitrociset (Italy) and GTD (Spain) will
raise the percentage of industrial return for non-French companies to more
than 37 percent.

Alcatel Space has been in
charge of these technical services since 1996, and has operated in French
Guiana since 1970. It continues to deliver both a proven operational system
and professional, experienced staff. Alcatel Space will help CNES carry out
the necessary changes at the launch base, while enhancing competitiveness
and minimizing risks.

The service continuity
reflected in this contract will also contribute to relations with the local
community, since the Alcatel Space-led consortium is fully committed to
partnerships supporting local development in French Guiana, especially for
education, employment and regional unity.

A three-faceted contract

First and foremost, the
contract covers the operation and maintenance of the weather forecasting,
radar and telemetry/command systems which play a direct role in the success
of Ariane launches. These systems are activated during the countdown to
check out the satellite, and at launch to ensure range safety. During the
launch phase, all operational data (flightpath, attitude, etc.), is
collected, processed and sent to the Operations Manager, giving him a
complete mission overview. S-band and a Ku-band tracking stations,
integrated in the CNES control network, ensure satellite orbital positioning
and stationkeeping.

The contract also covers the
operation and maintenance of all information systems, namely:

  • the telecom networks which provide all
    links at the launch base and at CNES’s technical center;
  • the camera systems (still and video), used
    during liftoff in particular;
  • operational information systems and CNES’s
    office systems, including the Help Desk.

The third major facet of the
contract is the Operational Coordination Office, which provides logistical
help for activity planning at the Guiana Space Center – over 1,000 tasks
must be scheduled every day – and also distributes the schedule to all
departments concerned.

About Alcatel Space

Alcatel Space ranks among the
world’s leading space systems prime contractors. Leveraging its dual
expertise in civil and military applications, Alcatel Space develops
satellite technology solutions for telecommunications, navigation, optical
and radar observation, meteorology, and scientific applications. Alcatel
Space established its world leadership in satellite orders in 2000, winning
the most orders for geo-stationary communications satellites, with a total
of 10 satellites (27% of the market). A fully-owned subsidiary of Alcatel
(100%), Alcatel Space generated 2000 revenues of 1.4 billion Euros and has
6,000 employees. For more information, please visit our website at

About Alcatel

Alcatel (Paris: CGEP.PA and
NYSE: ALA) builds next generation networks, delivering integrated end-to-end
voice and data networking solutions to established and new carriers, as well
as enterprises and consumers worldwide. With sales of EURO 31 billion in
2000 and 110,000 employees and, Alcatel operates in more than 130 countries.

For more information, visit Alcatel on the Internet:

CNES Press Contact

Eliane Moreaux / Cnes
Tel : +33 (0)5 61 27 33 44

Alcatel Space Press Contact

Laurent Zimmermann / Alcatel Space
Tel : +33 (0)1 46 52 64 68

Alcatel Investor Relations

Claire Pedini
Tel : +33 (0)1 40 76 13 93

Chris Welton
Tel : +33 (0)1 40 76 13 30

Emmanuel Spite
Tel : +33 (0)1 40 76 16 04
Pascal Bantegnie

Tel : +33 (0)1 40 76 52 20
Peter Campbell

Tel : + 1 972 519 4347


A simplified consortium, limited to three co-contractors

This contract is being handled by a “temporary consortium”, an arrangement that clarifies relations with French space agency CNES. Alcatel
Space is the lead contractor and single point of contact. It ensures unified management of contractual issues with CNES. Vitrociset and GTD
are co-contractors, within the scope of an industrial arrangement ensuring a non-French industrial return of more than 37 percent.

Our partners

Vibrociset S.p.A. – Italy

Workforce: 1,700

Vitrociset is the largest Italian company in the high-tech sectors of air traffic, space and defense control. It already
operates at the CSG, and for five years has handled camera and video system operations and maintenance.
GTD, systems engineering and industrial software – Spain

Workforce, 200, including 50 assigned to customer sites.

GTD is an active partner in major industrial, space, scientific, defense and telecom projects, as either prime,
subcontractor or supplier. It provides operational and maintenance services for information systems, and often
works for government customers.