This page no longer updated from 31 October 2001. Latest version can be found at Helios 1A-1B

Class: Surveillance. Type: Military. Nation: France. Agency: DGA, CNES. Manufacturer: Matra Marconi, Aerospatiale.

Helios 1A an 1B are advanced French Earth observation (surveillance) satellites which are widely believed to have 1 meter resolution capability. The Missile and Space Directorate (DME) of the French armament agency (DGA) heads the overall $2 billion Helios program. Spacecraft and payload information is not readily available due to the secret nature of the program. Spacecraft: 3-Axis stabilised, nadir pointing. CNES operates a Helios ground station in Toulous, France. Payload: The imaging system uses 4096 pixel and 2048 pixel linear CCDs to provide 1 - 5 meter resolution images. The CCDs are produced by Thompson CSF. Tape recorders are manufactured by Schlumberger Industries.


Total Mass: 2,537 kg.

Helios 1A-1B Chronology

07 July 1995 Helios 1A Launch Site: Kourou . Launch Vehicle: Ariane 4. Mass: 2,537 kg. Perigee: 679 km. Apogee: 682 km. Inclination: 98.1 deg.
03 December 1999 Helios 1B Launch Site: Kourou . Launch Vehicle: Ariane 4. Perigee: 679 km. Apogee: 681 km. Inclination: 98.1 deg.

French optical military reconnaisance satellite based on Spot 4.


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Last update 12 March 2001.
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© Mark Wade, 2001 .