CNES AND LA BOUDEUSE: “A UNION BETWEEN SPACE AND SEA”
CNES (the French National Space Agency) quite naturally wanted to become a partner of the La Boudeuse expedition: in fact for several years now, CNES has been developing its strategy in support of sustainable development by providing satellites and highly advanced related technology.
These satellites, which are used in oceanic research, provide an overall view of ocean characteristics around the world. Among other things, this space technology has allowed us to establish that:
- Ocean levels rose by more than 3mm between 1993 and 2003.
- The salinity of the seas has a bearing on the great sea currents that in turn influence the rapid changes in the climate
- The colour of the seas is an indicator of quality, based on the concentration of green phytoplankton. It provides a warning of the threats weighing on marine biodiversity.
In the same way, it can also be said that space would definitely be of interest to those who are concerned by sustainable development. This is, in fact, how CNES and La Boudeuse came to be associated: the captain of La Boudeuse expressed an interest in establishing a visible partnership with CNES, because of (in his words), “the considerable amount of goodwill CNES has shown the general public, young people and students”, and also because of the common values it shares with La Boudeuse concerning the conquest of new territories, the passion for exploration and the advancement of science.
How will CNES support the La Boudeuse mission?
The general public, for whom space holds great fascination, will be able to follow the expedition on the CNES website via the following collaborative partnerships:
- The Youth and Teachers Service of CNES, which has been involved for many years in educational projects concerning the study of the environment, will, in conjunction with Earth observation satellites, provide young people with the opportunity to participate, in their own way, in this adventure. One such project is the Argonaut project which has been set up to study Man, his environment and his ability to adapt and, more specifically, to study men in extreme situations (astronauts, lone sailors, explorers etc.). The crew of La Boudeuse will be able to take a drifting buoy or beacon with them, which they subsequently throw overboard, allowing pupils and teachers to track its course and monitor water temperature and salinity. And by checking the ship’s log each week on the internet, these young people will be able to follow the progress of the mission very closely.
- CNES and La Boudeuse have established a partnership in the field of telemedicine and personal safety, which will provide the crew with and on-board operational service. This telemedicine service works using the ABCSat telecommunications kit, developed by CNES. In the event of a medical problem on board or during the scientific land exploration stages of the mission, this kit, together with biomedical equipment and teleconsultation software, will connect La Boudeuse with the Maritime Medical Consultation Centre located within the Emergency Medical Assistance Service in Toulouse. The French maritime medical assistance service was established to provide French seafarers (merchant sailors, fishermen, amateur yachtsmen) with offsite medical care that is as close as possible in standard to that provided on land, regardless of where they are in the world and despite the physical remoteness of the patient.
DFurthermore, the ABCSat tool (Always Be Connected by Satellite), which has world-wide coverage, is easily transportable, quick to activate, self-powered and shock, water and dust-resistant (IP-54), is the ideal tool for mission researchers and scientists who are in isolated areas, for sending data (scientific or progress reports) or for sending news and updates on their wellbeing via a satellite connection with the support base on the ship (warning message from base camp).
CNES is delighted with this collaboration and wishes La Boudeuse “fair winds and following seas”!
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