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The European Space Agency has Appointed Capgemini to Manage the Ground Segment* of its Geo-positioning Program for Search and Rescue

28 Feb 2013

Paris, La Defense, February 28 2013 – The European Space Agency, has appointed the Aerospace & Defence division of Capgemini, one the global leaders in consulting, IT services and outsourcing, to implement the ground segment of the Galileo Search and Rescue (SAR) system, funded by the European Commission. Capgemini, as project manager of an international consortium, will be carrying out this program from its Toulouse site.

Galileo is Europe’s satellite navigation system, the equivalent of the US GPS, whose first operating services are expected to be delivered in 2014. Galileo will be equipped with find-and-rescue services integrated as part of the international MEOSAR system, developed by several countries around the world and coordinated by the Cospas-Sarsat** system.  Its satellites will be able to pick up signals from distress beacons, emitted by ships, aircraft or isolated individuals. Data transmitted to the ground by the satellites will then be dealt with by the ground segment of the Search and Rescue system developed by Capgemini, which aims to route them to the national emergency centers. The new system will locate these people in around ten minutes under operating conditions of more than 99.8%, compared with several hours under the previous arrangements.

As well as improved performance tracking, the system will authorize the sending of a response message to the beacon sending the distress signal, indicating to the person in distress that the signal has been received, which has not been the case up to now.

Capgemini, the program project manager, has partnered with three companies to provide the European Space Agency (ESA)*** with a comprehensive, pan-European, supervision and control network of communications between ground stations and the control center:

  • Honeywell Global Tracking (Canada) for the supply of three satellite ground stations on sites in Maspalomas (Canary Islands), Spitzbergen (Norway) et Larnaca (Cyprus),
  • ELTA (a Toulouse company company) for the supply of new-generation distress beacons,
  • GÉANT (a UK-based organization) pour the network infrastructure.

The program is expected to be completed by spring 2014.

For Pierre-Jean Mercé, Capgemini’s program manager: “The implementation of the ground segment of the Galileo SAR GS allows Capgemini’s Space teams to use their experience gained over 20 years in Search and Rescue systems, as well as integration programs in critical systems.  We are proud and happy to contribute to the development of a project with such technological performance and, most importantly, will save more people in distress.”

About Capgemini
With more than 125,000 people in 44 countries, Capgemini is one of the world’s foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing services. The Group reported 2012 global revenues of EUR 10.3 billion. Together with its clients, Capgemini creates and delivers business and technology solutions that fit their needs and drive the results they want. A deeply multicultural organization, Capgemini has developed its own way of working, the Collaborative Business ExperienceTM, and draws on Rightshore®, its worldwide delivery model.

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*The ground segment consists of all ground infrastructures which enable the satellite’s orbit to be controlled, as well as to collect and use data provided by its instruments.

**Cospas-Sarsat is a global alert and positioning system based on radio-beacons for locating people in distress.

***The European Union manages and finances the full “full operational capability” phase of the Galileo program. The Commission and the ESA have signed a delegation agreement under which ESA acts as designer and supplier on behalf of the Commission. The opinions expressed in this press release do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union or the ESA. “Galileo” is a registered trademark in the EU and ESA under file number OHIM 002742237