ERCIM News No.23 - October '95 - INRIA

Satellite for Observing the Earth

by Jean-Marie Proth

INRIA and the French Aerospace Agency CNES (Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales) cooperate to optimize the performance of the SPOT satellite ("Satellite Pour l'Observation de la Terre" - Satellite for Observing the Earth), which is capable of taking very precise pictures of the earth for agricultural, military, meteorological purposes, to quote only a few.

Involved in this cooperation is the SAGEP project, located in Metz, France, at one of the five regional research institutes of INRIA. The SAGEP project had several contracs with CNES to optimise the schedule of the image shootings of the earth. The solution of such a problem must take into account numerous constraints such as the storage capacity, the set-up times of the instruments which take the pictures, and the clouds which may spoil the picture.

The CNES was looking for a robust, flexible, and self adaptive software tool which has been developed in two years of cooperation. Extensive tests were carried out in the SAGEP project, followed by other tests performed by the CNES in Toulouse.

This software tool is currently at work in the satellites SPOT 2 and SPOT 3. After several years of activity, it appears that the software tool fully meets the requirements of the Aerospace Agency. This has been recently confirmed by a letter sent by the CNES to the SAGEP project.

Please contact:
Jean-Marie Proth - INRIA-Lorraine
Tel: +33 87 20 35 01

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