In Kourou, Clemessy takes part in building the new ELA4 launch site for Ariane 6

17.02.2021
In Kourou, Clemessy takes part in building the new ELA4 launch site for Ariane 6

In June 2016, on behalf of the European Space Agency (ESA), the National Centre for Space Study (CNES) entrusted our ECLAIR 6 consortium with the Ariane 6 launch site turnkey project (200 million euros). The consortium comprises several of Eiffage Group’s entities and is led by Eiffage Génie Civil. The project includes the construction of 20 buildings. Clemessy’s teams are in charge of the launch pad’s electrical infrastructure.  

Within the ECLAIR 6 consortium, our Clemessy technicians took charge of electrifying all the infrastructure, from updating the space centre’s existing electrical feeders to renovating generating sets (on which the launch relies, for safety and security reasons) and including HV-LV distribution for the buildings, securing the power supply with a Category 3 corrugated network, and automation.  

Operational reliability studies allowing the analysis of the failure modes of possible breakdowns and system availability are also on their roadmap. The aim is to predict critical behaviours and guarantee a high level of facility reliability.   

Our teams are also responsible for protecting the rocket launcher from possible cyber-attacks and have applied Computer Systems Security requirements in order to assess risks and secure the various computer systems.  

These core assignments were completed by earthing installation, electromagnetic compatibility, and lightning protection for the buildings and launcher. All the studies were modelled with BIM (3D). This provision gave the consortium better control of logistics, improved teamworking, optimized purchasing and simplified monitoring.  

Apart from the infrastructure works, our teams also carried out the safety-protection works including building the site’s perimeter fence, electrification, CCTV and access control, among other things.  

The virtual machine manager (hypervisor) entitled Easement monitoring & control, was also developed by Clemessy’s teams. This system provides IT supervision for easements and means (such as energy, water and air-conditioning) and complies with a high level of cybersecurity.  

Inside these infrastructures, Clemessy’s IT experts and their Barcelona partner GTD have set up the test bench allowing the launcher to be operated until take-off. This real-time deterministic system uses the Syclone software solution enabling non-computer scientists to operate a complex process.  

Now that works have been completed on the new ELA4 launch site, our teams are to help the CNES during a trial phase up until the technical and operational qualification of the infrastructures. At the end of this stage, our teams will take charge of launch pad maintenance in operational conditions, until 2022.  

This contract, financed by the European Space Agency’s member states, includes a geographical return clause involving a “return on investment” in the form of industrial contracts. Within this framework, our German and Romanian subsidiaries, RMT and Clemessy Automatizare respectively, took part in the works. The European subsidiaries of other consortium members also contributed to this exceptional project. 

© ESA/CNES/Arianespace/Optique vidéo du CSG - S. Martin