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GPS is a satellite guidance system found in cars or smartphones. But how are they themselves guided? A French company is responsible for equipping them with high performance mini-cameras.
On land or in the air, we are now guided by satellite. These satellites must find their way to the stars. Mini-cameras, star sights, are designed and manufactured in the greatest secrecy, in the Parisian suburbs. 450 technicians and engineers design and produce around 100 star sights every year. “Sodern now equips a third of the satellites in orbit with space navigation systems”, explains Vincent Dedieu, director of operations at Sodern.
From the electronic card to the assembly of the shielding, which must withstand the constraints of the vacuum of space, it takes a week of work. The piece, once finished, is signed by the person who assembles it. “We are proud to know that what we make will go into space”, says an employee. The laboratory is also working on space exploration missions. It was from him that NASA and the European Space Agency ordered the sights that will guide the probes bound for Jupiter.