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France and India to develop space-based continuous ship tracking

A constellation of satellites jointly operated by France and India to track and monitor ships in the Indian Ocean is under development, the French National Space Agency (CNES) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) have confirmed.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"} Carrying telecommunications (AIS) and radar and optical remote-sensing instruments, the first space-based system will cover a wide belt around the globe, providing continuous ship tracking. The system will also be able to detect oil slicks and trace their origin.

The constellation further boosts France and India’s partnership, which has previously delivered several jointly operated satellites for food security, water resource management, and climate research.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and France’s president Emmanuel Macron have also discussed training in France for the flight surgeons who will be responsible for India’s future astronauts, the active contribution of French-Indian space programmes to tackling climate change and India’s involvement in the Space Climate Observatory (SCO) for which the founding declaration was signed at this year’s Paris Air Show in the presence of President Macron.

CNEC president Jean-Yves Le Gall commented: “CNES’s and ISRO’s teams are both very proud to see, in the presence of president Macron and prime minister Modi, this new step forward in our cooperation in space. Our technologies today occupy an unprecedented place in the world economy and it is through large-scale international partnership projects like these that we will promote and develop our excellence.” {/mprestriction}

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