Geutebruck provides high security for the European Space Centre in French Guiana

The ‘Centre Spatial Guyanais' (CSG) otherwise known as the Guiana Space Centre near Kourou in French Guiana is the spaceport which France shares with the European Space Agency (ESA).  Besides being the launch site for the Ariane rockets which are designed and built by partners in 12 European countries, Kourou also provides launch facilities for the ESA, the French space agency CNES, and Russian Soyuz rockets too. — The first Soyuz launch from the site having taken place on 21st October 2011 when the first pair of satellites for Europe's Galileo global navigation system were put into orbit.

Geutebruck France has been involved in providing a high security environment for the centre since 2006 when a new multi-phase security design was drawn up and the initial contracts awarded.  The first complete Geutebruck video security system was handed over in April 2009, with the second large four-year project completed in partnership with the Italian company Telematic Solutions (Milan) in December of the following year.  At the moment Geutebruck have three other security projects in hand: the CSG harbour in Kourou; the new launch complex for the Russian Soyuz rockets; and the whole of the new Vega launch site. — The Vega is a new smaller European rocket which is scheduled to make its debut in late 2011. — Once these projects have been completed almost all the spaceport will be protected with Geutebruck systems.

The space centre's extensive site covers 850 square kilometres.  Besides its launch facilities are various satellite and rocket assembly buildings and a plant for producing solid rocket propellant. Geographically speaking the space centre is situated in a very favourable location.  On the one hand, being near the coast means that there is only a short journey for valuable payloads which arrive by ship, and on the other, that rockets are launched over water rather than over populated areas.  Its position close to the equator ensures that rockets get maximum assistance from the earth's rotation and makes it simpler and less costly to manoeuvre satellites into geosynchronous orbit. 

However, favourable though the location may be in some respects, its hot sticky equatorial climate is a considerable challenge for electronic hardware.  Environmental problems including mould, small animals, insects, high humidity, salt water and strong sunlight mean that preventative measures are required against corrosion, condensation, the gradual loosening of electrical connections, galvanic coupling and the risk of dirt causing bad contacts, and so on.  Consequently Geutebruck has had to ensure that there cannot be any condensation inside its cabinets or devices; that there is no possible ingress for insects; that all moving parts are sealed off from the external climate; and that PVC materials are selected for their resistance to moisture and mould.

The space centre uses Geutebruck video systems for typical security tasks  - for example surveillance of the 35 kilometer-long perimeter fence - and also for monitoring processes and procedures.  Currently the equipment in service includes around 43 19” racks, 80 GeViScope high end video system platforms, 42 GeViRAID systems, 10 evaluation stations and 10 viewer stations combined with monitor walls which are made to meet specific technical requirements.  There are 670 cameras, 1200 Helios floodlights and a140 Terabyte database. 

The space centre is a multi-national, multi-cultural environment where staff from many different companies work together but which has to be organised with military precision.  As the host agency CNES is responsible for the design and quality assurance of the facilities.  Both its project managers and the CSG end-users have expressed their satisfaction with Geutebruck's professional co-operation and with the performance of its video systems, and this sentiment is clearly reflected in Geutebruck's current order book.

Share to:
Comments ( 0 )