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Kinéis, 25 nanosatellites carrying the metamorphosis of the Argos system is on its way.

Our first Kinéis constellation update was earlier this year where we went backstage with Michel Sarthou, Kinéis’ Chief Technical Officer. Now, a few months later, we’re back again with another glimpse behind the scenes.

We recently had the pleasure of talking to Alexandre Tisserant, CEO at Kinéis and Nicolas Multan, CEO at HEMERIA, the company chosen by Kinéis to manufacture the nanosatellites for the future constellation.

Who better to explain the innovations being brought to you with the metamorphosis of the Argos system?

After more than 30 years supporting the international scientific community, CLS is proud to have started the Argos revolution through the creation of, Kinéis and, as the provider of this brand-new connectivity to its users from 2023 onwards, CLS aims to keep you updated throughout the Argos adventure.

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Kinéis & HEMERIA: heirs to a dynasty

Nicolas Multan, CEO of HEMERIA since July 2019, and Alexandre Tisserant, CEO of Kinéis
Nicolas Multan, CEO of HEMERIA since July 2019, and Alexandre Tisserant, CEO of Kinéis

Kinéis and HEMERIA have more in common than most realize. Created in 2018 & 2019 respectively, both French owned companies have inherited over 30 years of experience making them key players in the field of Space Industry. Active in two major domains, Defense & Space, and with a turnover of around €45 M, HEMERIA employs 250 people.

Their goal? Add the French Touch to the Space sector. With the successful launch of ANGELS (lien vers article angels) and the upcoming 25 nanosatellites joining the constellation in 2023, it’s clear they’re well on their way to achieving that goal.

Nicolas Multan, CEO of HEMERIA since July 2019, and Alexandre Tisserant, CEO of Kinéis since its creation, joined us to talk about HEMERIA’s role in the metamorphosis of the Argos system, the innovations they’re bringing to the table and what, in this challenging adventure, they’re most proud of.

 

 

Nicolas, could you explain what role HEMERIA plays in developing the new Kinéis constellation?

Kinéis nanosatellite
Kinéis nanosatellite

We are designing the nanosatellites. It sounds simple but we’re actually designing nanosatellites that meet several technical and technological requirements in terms of environmental constraints, lifespan, and reliability. The nanosatellites will receive two payloads and, in the end, need to offer Kinéis a space segment that works and is homogeneous. 

 

Alexandre, why did Kinéis choose HEMERIA to join you in this adventure?

It was a natural choice since we were looking to make nanosatellites. HEMERIA was accompanied by CNES in the successful development of ANGELS, a prototype of the future Kinéis satellites, and we think that they are the best on the subject.

 

Nicolas, can you give some examples of the innovations that Kinéis have asked of you and the challenges you’re facing?

ANGELS nanosatellite
ANGELS nanosatellite

The innovations implemented in the new constellation are, I would say, carrying on the innovations already initiated by ANGELS, most notably miniaturization. ANGELS is 10 times smaller than its predecessors but 5 times more powerful and 3 times more energy-efficient.

I suppose you could consider the antenna network a challenge due to its complexity. Fitting three deployable antennas on the same side of a satellite that is smaller than a sheet of A4 paper is a real challenge mechanically speaking and in terms of Radio Frequency!

Having said that, the antennas recently passed a number of tests at CNES confirming their capacity to perform effectively.  

More on ANGELS

 

Alexandre, what is the status of the constellation now?

Today there are 8 satellites (legacy generation) in flight, including Angels, and they are  working very well. By 2023 there will be two satellites launched by institutional partners and in 2023 we will launch the 25 Kinéis nanosatellites. Everything is in order, no delays!

 

Kinéis, Hemeria, Thales Alenia Space, CNES & CLS logosFinally, what are you most proud of in this adventure?

Alexandre TISSERANT: I would say successfully mobilizing a team of partners that is almost exclusively French in an unprecedented adventure. It’s no small feat because it’s always easier to take risks that others have taken before but when you’re the first, like us in this case, it takes real courage to do it. And so, I’m thankful to all those who have participated, and I think that this is something of which we can, collectively, be very proud.

Nicolas MULTAN: I agree with Alexandre, it’s the human adventure. In terms of HEMERIA, it’s a great achievement because our nanosat adventure started back in 2009 and, until about 2016, we were out in the cold, almost us against the world and then finally it turned around. Now, through new opportunities, we’re able to see this new sector emerging and, in that lies, the real pride. And that pride goes far beyond our borders at HEMERIA or Kinéis as it involves a dozen partners, and it really is a great experience.

The Argos metamorphosis appears to be on track with its planned launch in 2023 providing enhanced technologies that will revolutionize wildlife conservation and studying our Blue Planet.

The Kinéis constellation

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a red kite

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Red kites are medium-sized partially migratory raptor. They often winter in Spain, but their behaviour there and during those non-breeding periods have not been extensively studied using satellite telemetry. A team used PTTs to understand better this season for those raptors, and consider what will become of them…
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King penguins are living around Antarctica, breeding on some of the sub-Antarctic islands. A new colony seems to have been established in Magellan strait, showing the high plasticity of the species. Argos enables to better understand the new colony behaviour. Photo: four study king penguins in different positions…
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Tracking a European shorebird called the Black-tailed godwit (Limosa l. limosa) has previously revealed that different populations of godwits have different migratory behaviours (see Black-tailed godwits’ different migration behaviours). Those findings also hinted that inexperience or lack of shared experience might be the cause behind…
a sea turtle with an Argos PTT

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Collecting sea turtle-borne temperature and depth sensor data with Argos satellite telemetry tags helps to sample the first 100 m layer of tropical oceans, where tropical storms and cyclones take their energy. It also enables to understand the behaviour of sea turtles trapped in extreme events such as…
A ringed seal equipped with a data logger

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Ringed seals are dependent on sea ice. Throughout the Arctic, including around the Svalbard Archipelago, sea ice is declining rapidly, thus threatening these seals. Their use of a coastal lagoon was studied over several seasons using Argos satellite telemetry, to examine if this kind of habitat could constitute…
great knot with a tag

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The Great Knot is an endangered shorebird and a long-distance migrant. Its activity was found to be mainly along the coast and was suspected to have few stopovers; while juveniles were recorded moving approximately 3,000 km within ten days (Tomkovich, 1997). While we know the Great Knot lives…
A far eastern curlew with an Argos PTT

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a polar bear with a satellite telemetry collar

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A pod of beluga whales in the Pacific

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Young (“Oceanic stage”) green sea turtle released with solar-powered satellite tag in Sargassum habitat. (credit: Gustavo Stahelin, UCF MTRG; Permit number NMFS-19508)

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a blue-winged teal with an Argos PTT

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Wild migratory waterfowl such as blue-winged teals are known host of avian influenza. They can contaminate poultry which in turn develop highly contagious poultry diseases, some rare times affecting human population. Being able to monitor more closely the poultry when at risk is thus of foremost importance.
Argentinian researchers prepare to release a tagged franciscana

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A Chinese Sparrowhawk in flight

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An Adélie penguin with an Argos PTT

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Future Argos constellation

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an adult (white-feathered) and a juvenile (dark-feathered) northern gannet

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A green turtle with an Argos PTT

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Whimbrel in flight with transmitter antennae extending beyond the tail

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a whale and the boat used to equip it

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Two scarlet macaws

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A blue shark

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Brent geese in flight; the one on the left has an Argos PTT (credit K. Clausen)

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Argos birds webinar

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A calf manatee

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Great albatross equipped with a Centurion beacon

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Albatrosses tend to be attracted by fishing boats, which is one of the main threats on the species. The bycatch risk is usually assessed by comparing albatrosses’ and (legal) boats locations. Illegal fishing grounds are less easy to pinpoint, though, except that the boats keep their radar on,…
jaguar

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