The French constellation operator (located in Paris and Toulouse) completes a new round of financing of 4.7 million euros
Satellite operator Prométhée has contracted mission integrator NanoAvionics to build the first nanosatellite for the French company’s planned constellation of Earth observation nanosatellites and image analysis platform. “ProtoMéthée-1” will be based on NanoAvionics’ flight-proven 16U nanosatellite bus M16P.
In addition to the satellite with onboard camera and propulsion, NanoAvionics will also provide Prométhée with full mission services – testing, integration, launch, licensing, and initial satellite operations. The “ProtoMéthée-1” is intended to be launched towards the end of 2023 in low Earth orbit (LEO). The company’s service demonstrator will be based on a high revisit rate constellation (20 times more passes per day) and offering hyperreactivity through inter-constellation connectivity.
The aim of France-based Prométhée is to bring less expensive space applications to emerging countries, in particular in Latin America and Africa. The company recently raised 4.7 million euros after a first fundraising in September 2020 of 2.2 million euros achieved through business angels, financials and three companies specialised in space industry, Hemeria, Comat and ADF. The possible applications resulting from Prométhée’s satellite data and digital platform range from forest fire detection to water management, food security, urban planning, desertification control, crisis management, critical infrastructure protection and defence.
Olivier Piepsz, president of Prométhée, said: “NanoAvionics is one of the most innovative European space companies with an excellent flight heritage. Leaving the manufacturing of our first satellite as well as launch services and operations in their capable hands, Prométhée will soon become France’s leading NewSpace operator for Earth Observation. It is our intention to keep innovating through new space explorations and new uses, while at the same time strengthening France’s resilience through space and digital sovereignty among the space fairing nations.”
Vytenis J. Buzas, CEO NanoAvionics, said: “The French NewSpace market, based on the country’s space heritage and bold space technology development policies is one of the most active in the world. We are proud to be supplying small satellite technologies to household names, such as Thales Alenia Space, as well as partnering with promising and rising stars such as Prométhée, Gama Space, and ExoTrail among others. The recent mission contract with Prométhée shows our continued fast-paced business growth and further advancement into the French market. In line with our existing engagement with French NewSpace companies, growing the business and to further improve our customer service, we will be exploring different opportunities to establish a NanoAvionics base in the country.”
“2022 has already been another exciting year for NanoAvionics and the remaining months are looking very promising. Following the six satellite launches on Transporter-3 and 4 including our MP42, one of the first commercially available modular microsatellite buses in the industry, we intend to launch nine more satellites this year and will be announcing more new mission contracts in the coming months.”
NanoAvionics is a smallsat bus manufacturer and mission integrator currently based in four locations across the USA, UK and Lithuania. The company’s efforts are focused on enabling critical satellite functions and optimizing their hardware, launch and satellite operation costs by providing end-to-end small satellite solutions – ranging from single missions to constellations. Its core engineering team has implemented over 110 successful satellite missions and commercial projects during the past several years. With a modularity such as the fundamental principle of NanoAvionics systems’ architecture, NanoAvionics provides economic viability to a wide range of small satellite constellation-based missions, businesses and organizations worldwide.
Prométhée was founded in January 2020 and is positioned as a federator of the entire French NewSpace sector, responding to the challenges of governance, sustainable development and crisis management by providing environmental and strategic intelligence services. The scope proposed by Prométhée covers areas related to national sovereignty and resilience such as urban planning management, water resources protection, critical infrastructure, fight against deforestation, illegal fishing, ecological efficiency of agriculture, defense and security.