AEROSPATIALE HAS BEEN selected by French Space Agency CNES to lead the programme to develop the new Proteus small-satellite platform. The state-owned company beat competition from its traditional rival, Matra.

The Proteus platform will form the basis of a new generation of small satellites weighing around 500kg, which would be launched individually or in clusters.

Aerospatiale says that it is still awaiting the final signature for the contract, and the company declines to comment on the potential value of the deal.

One of the first applications for the Proteus (a French acronym for reconfigurable observation, telecommunications and scientific platform) will be the Franco-American Topex-Poseidon oceanic-altimetry satellite.

The first platform should be ready by early 1998. It will have a volume of around 1m3, and will supply 130-400W of power to the payload.

Source: Flight International