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Alcatel Alenia Space finishes installation of weather data receiving stations in Africa for PUMA project


Paris, November 17, 2005 - Alcatel Alenia Space today announced that it has finished the installation of 51 weather data receiving stations in Africa, linking 47 countries to the Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) weather satellite. Alcatel Alenia Space is prime contractor for this deployment, which will considerably bolster environmental monitoring in Africa and help prevent natural disasters, make food supplies more secure, guarantee more efficient use of water and enhance transportation safety.

The initial contract was signed in November 2002 with the Kenyan Meteorological Department, and falls within the scope of the PUMA project (Preparation for Use of MSG in Africa), launched by Eumetsat (European Meteorological Satellite Organization) and the European Commission in 1996.

The project is financed by the European Commission through the European Development Fund, and represents a considerable step forward for meteorological monitoring over Africa and the Indian Ocean.

For local meteorologists, it will mark a real revolution, as they shift from a system with information sent by fax and manual production of weather maps, to the reception of satellite weather images every 15 minutes. These local meteorologists, trained by Alcatel Alenia Space personnel, now have access to image processing systems that allow them to analyze the raw data and send their weather bulletins to aviation or maritime authorities, or to the general population via radio and TV.

“Alcatel Alenia Space’s teams remain highly mobilized for this project, which harbors great potential for everybody in the region,” said Patrick Mauté, head of optical observation and science programs at Alcatel Alenia Space. “This meteorological initiative blazes a path for environmental monitoring and sustainable development in Africa. We were able to meet the challenge of completing the deployment in only nine months because of a solid commitment by our technical teams, as well as by local populations and authorities.”

More work is now under way to ensure that Africa garners long-term benefits from the results of the AMESD initiative - African Monitoring of the Environment for Sustainable Development. Alcatel Alenia Space is already deeply involved in the GMES program (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security), and has all the capabilities needed to play an important role in AMESD, especially for the meteorological and hydrology aspects.

About Alcatel Alenia Space
Alcatel Alenia Space, leader in satellite systems and at the forefront of orbit infrastructures, brings together the vast experience and know-how of Alcatel Space and Alenia Spazio to form a new leading force in European space technology. Alcatel Alenia Space represents a worldwide standard for space development that impacts everybody’s future: from navigation to telecommunications, from meteorology to environmental monitoring, from defence to science and observation. An affiliate of Alcatel (67%) and Finmeccanica (33%), Alcatel Alenia Space generated an estimated turnover of 1.8 billion euros with around 7,200 people in 2004.

About Alcatel
Alcatel provides communications solutions to telecommunication carriers, Internet service providers and enterprises for delivery of voice, data and video applications to their customers or employees. Alcatel brings its leading position in fixed and mobile broadband networks; applications and services, to help its partners and customers build a user-centric broadband world. With sales of EURO 12.3 billion and 56,000 employees in 2004, Alcatel operates in more than 130 countries.


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