The French armaments directorate (DGA) has awarded EADS Defence & Security and Astrium a contract worth €28 M for the design, development, installation and operational maintenance of the Portail Hôte d’Accès au Renseignement de l’Observation Spatiale (PHAROS) system.

From 2009, PHAROS (an access portal for satellite intelligence) will enable the forces based in mainland France or deployed in theatres of operation abroad to have common access to the images acquired by the HELIOS (France), COSMO-SkyMed (Italy) and SAR-Lupe (Germany) military satellites and by Pléiades, the future French dual satellite system.

The technical solution proposed by the industrial group and accepted by the DGA is based on a services-oriented architecture and involves the use of innovative technologies deriving from both the civil sphere (virtualisation, image compression) and the military sphere (digitisation). The project will be implemented jointly by teams specializing in Intelligence Systems within EADS Defence and Communications Systems, the prime contractor, and Astrium Satellites Ground Systems, the joint leading contractor, who will also rely on the expertise of three subcontractors: Cap Gemini, Pixelion and GAEL Consultant.