NESS (N3SS) Satellite

Spacecraft NESS (N3SS, Nanosat 3U for civil spectrum monitoring)
Type CubeSat
Units or mass 3U
Mass in kg 4.8 kg
Status Operational (Offical news from CNES in October 2023)
Launched 2023-10-09
NORAD ID 58020
Deployer ?
Launcher Vega C (VV23)
Entity name CNES
Institution Space agency
Entity type Government (Civil / Military)
Headquarters France
Manufacturer AIVT by U-Space
Operator CNES

Validate in orbit miniaturized technologies intended for the detection and localization of interfering transmitters,


Validate in orbit miniaturized technologies intended for the detection and localization of interfering transmitters, a major issue particularly in terms of security for on-board, terrestrial or aerial navigation applications.

NESS is developed and integrated by the industrial company U-Space , integrating the SPECTROLITE instrument, developed by Syrlinks , and the mission antenna.

The project owner CNES, in charge of defining NESS, supports the French space industry and provides its expertise to Toulouse start-ups involved in the development of nanosatellites.

After the launch and upon separation of the nanosatellite, the LEOP (Launch and Early Orbit Phase) stationing and demonstration operations were carried out by the CNES teams from the Toulouse Space Center.

The green light: “  Telemetry (TM) online  !” » that the engineers heard in the audio loops. This was confirmation of good communication between NESS and the ground as it passed over the Kiruna receiving station, Sweden. From that moment on, approximately 36 hours of work awaited the operational teams to evaluate the proper functioning of the platform. The in-flight acceptance must start at the end of this period, including the activation of the SPECTROLITE payload .

Decided in 2019 by CNES, the NESS project saw the light of day with the award of the demonstrator development contract to a young Toulouse start-up, U-Space. Founded in 2018, U-Space benefits from the know-how accumulated by 3 young engineers, former students of ISAE-Supaéro, who contributed to the success of Eye-Sat , the student satellite launched in December 2019 as part of Nanolab CNES Academy (formerly the Janus project).

The NESS project brings together several ambitions: pushing new technologies into orbit in order to demonstrate their proper functioning in the space environment, but also promoting the emergence of an industrial capacity for the production of very small nanosatellites . An additional challenge is to implement technical solutions to produce the complete system while controlling costs and planning.

To meet these requirements, several off-the-shelf components were used. However, certain specific equipment was manufactured by U-Space for NESS such as the solar panels, the payload, the energy chain and the mechanical structure.

NESS's mission is to test the SPECTROLITE instrument in orbit and to evaluate its ability to detect interfering emissions. Indeed, more and more equipment uses GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems) satellite navigation systems, such as the European Galileo system, and can be disturbed by this type of emissions - intentional or not.

However, the information provided by these systems has become critical in our daily lives, because it is essential for many applications, particularly in the field of air and land transport.

A particularly telling example is the disruption of the reception of navigation messages by land mobiles or aircraft, with significant consequences particularly on security. Similar disturbances are observed in the frequencies used by our space telecommunications systems for controlling satellites in orbit. The fight against this interference is therefore a major technological and security issue.

Sources [1] [2] [3]
Photo sources [1]
On the same launch

Last modified: 2024-05-29

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