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Program: Hélios

In Greek mythology Helios was all-seeing and all-knowing

French military observation program. The first generation is financed by France (79%), Italy (14%) and Spain (7%). Operated by the DGA (Délégation Générale à l'Armement) and the CNES. Each country can use the satellite in proportion of its financial participation. Each country can order observations and obtain the results via its own Earth station. Each country's results are encrypted so that only the orderer can use the data.

The second generation (Helios 2) was launched in 2005 and financed by France, Belgium (2.5%), Spain (2.5%) and Greece (2.5%). Equipped for optical and IR observation. Resolution is said to be better than 50 cm. The system should cost EUR 2.13 billion over 10 years. In Apr 2007, Greece joined the program (EUR 80 million over 10 years).

In Jul 2002, France and Germany decided to research how to technically join their 2 programs ( Helios and SAR Lupe)

In Jun 2005, Italy exchanges access right to Helios with rights to Cosmo-Skymed.

Other french military satellites include: Clementine and the Cerise companion.

To be replaced by CSO

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