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French NewSpace operator Prométhée selects Capgemini to develop its JAPETUS mission centrE

Mission centre for future European earth observation constellation to manage real-time imaging requests and optimise the constellation's mission planning

12 Apr 2023

Paris, April 12, 2023 – Prométhée, the French NewSpace operator of nanosatellite constellations for earth observation, has selected Capgemini to develop the mission centre for its first European constellation ‘JAPETUS’.

Supported by CNES, the French Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty as part of the France Relance plan, and by the European Union as part of NextGenerationEU, JAPETUS aims to offer earth observation data to players in the environment and the fight against climate change space, as well as security and defence. Thanks to the 20 nanosatellites in this planned constellation, the areas to be protected will be observed every 45 minutes (under European latitudes), an improvement of about 10 times the revisit rate compared to traditional space systems.

The performance of JAPETUS in terms of observation frequency, automatic global coverage and hyperreactivity, is combined with onboard Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities integrated with the ground data processing platform. This will enable a whole range of new innovative services, such as high-frequency surveillance of critical sites, ocean protection, the fight against deforestation, and real-time detection of abnormal activities in the fight against illegal fishing.

The mission centre, a major brick in the JAPETUS ground segment system

Prométhée commissioned Capgemini to develop its mission centre in an optimised cloud environment, integrate it into the on the ground segment, as well as qualify the entire system.

The ground segment is the set of on the ground resources and equipment required to carry out a space mission. It covers the definition of the mission for the JAPETUS constellation as well as the collection, processing and distribution of data acquired in orbit. The new possibilities offered by the nanosatellite constellation allow the optimisation of the satellite programming plan, in order to offer increased simplicity and reactivity to meet multiple user needs. The mission centre – as a core component of the JAPETUS ground segment – will manage real-time imaging requests and optimise the planning of the missions to be performed in the future constellation.

The solution developed by Capgemini will be operational as soon as the first satellites are commissioned. It is designed to be industrial and scalable to allow for the agile integration of new requirements and to enhance the operational efficiency of operators.

The mission centre will interconnect with all the other components, such as the flight control and dynamics centre, based on the innovative solution of Prométhée’s partner, Leanspace, a digital platform, offering cloud services specific to space activities, which enables the rapid implementation of ground segment infrastructures.

“Prométhée chose Capgemini for its recognised expertise in the implementation of this type of system with major industrial and government space organisations, which perfectly meets Prométhée’s requirements,” said Olivier Piepsz, President and co-founder of Prométhée.

“We are very pleased to collaborate with one of the most promising emerging players in the NewSpace market segment, and to share our space expertise to contribute to the success of an earth observation nanosatellite constellation that is unique in terms of performance and capabilities,” said Denis Dallez, Head of the Space Industry at Capgemini in France. “We share a common vision of space observation data as an unparalleled information and measurement tool for elements related to climate change that have been little or poorly observed until now.” 

The first launch into orbit is scheduled for October 2023 for the ProtoMéthée-1 prototype, and by 2025 for the deployment of the 20 satellites of the future JAPETUS constellation.

About Prométhée

Prométhée is the French NewSpace operator of a constellation of earth observation nanosatellites. Our goal is to democratise the use of satellite imagery for a safer and more sustainable world. Founded in January 2020 by Olivier Piepsz and Giao-Minh Nguyen, Prométhée brings together recognised experts in space, digital and services.

Climate change and the increase in human activity have a direct impact on ecosystems and populations.  It is essential to have the means to observe, monitor and predict these events. Nanosatellite constellations are today the only way to have near real-time access to information at anytime, anywhere in the world.

Prométhée thus responds to the challenges of crisis management and sustainable development by providing strategic intelligence and environmental intelligence services.

Prométhée’s scope of application is virtually unlimited, from maritime surveillance and critical infrastructures to the protection of ecosystems, water resources, fauna and flora, the fight against deforestation, illegal fishing and the prevention of natural disasters.

About Capgemini

Capgemini is a global leader in partnering with companies to transform and manage their business by harnessing the power of technology. The Group is guided everyday by its purpose of unleashing human energy through technology for an inclusive and sustainable future. It is a responsible and diverse organisation of 360,000 team members in more than 50 countries. With its strong 55-year heritage and deep industry expertise, Capgemini is trusted by its clients to address the entire breadth of their business needs, from strategy and design to operations, fueled by the fast evolving and innovative world of cloud, data, AI, connectivity, software, digital engineering and platforms. The Group reported in 2022 global revenues of €22 billion.

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