23 December 2019


CNIM Air Space’s tethered aerostat for the CERBERE project

CNIM Air Space, acting as a subcontractor of the ONERA (Office national d'études et de recherches aérospatiales), designed, manufactured and operated an Eagle Owl type tethered aerostat (450 m³, 19 meters long) for the CERBERE experimental study led by the Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA - French defense procurement agency).

CERBERE is an aerial demonstrator measuring the electromagnetic environment. The study was completed last June, close to Lorient (France), during a 2 weeks long flight campaign. This flight campaign was completed by CNIM Air Space with the engineers and technicians of the DGA, as well as the teams of Ineo Defense and ONERA.

Using a tethered aerostat as an aerial platform to take onboard SIGINT sensors has several advantages. Indeed, the tethered aerostat enables to place in altitude the electromagnetic sensors which are less constrained by the effects of terrain-masking. Moreover, the tethered aerostat offers a flight permanence from several days to several weeks, while offering a cost per flight hour cheaper than a plane or a drone.

CNIM Air Space, formerly Airstar Aerospace, is a subsidiary of CNIM Group, and part of the Innovation and Systems sector. CNIM Air Space has on a strong 50 years’ experience in flexible materials assembly, especially gained through projects designed for the benefit of major industrial players.

Its offer is mainly dedicated to defense, security, inspection and space markets. CNIM Air Space designs and manufactures:

  • Tethered aerostats and airships, tailor-made or standardized, that are used as aerial platforms to take onboard payloads, which will lead surveillance or communication missions.
  • Stratospheric balloons, mainly dedicated to scientific missions led by European space agencies.
  • Thermal protections for satellites, to the benefit of major European satellite manufacturers.

CNIM Air Space employs around 50 employees and is located near Toulouse (France), at the heart of the French aerospace ecosystem.

More information about CNIM Air Space: