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PEOLE 1 (Preliminaire EOLE) was the first French experimental meteorological satellite and the first launched by the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) from the Centre Spatial Guyanais near Kourou, French Guiana. The satellite was placed into a near-circular, near-equatorial orbit. Launched before the initiation of France's operational meteorological satellite program, PEOLE 1 was designed to test the feasibility of acquiring data, including wind velocity, by reception of telemetry and tracking data from independent earth-circling, constant-altitude, and meteorological balloons. Qualifying tests were made of a gravity-gradient stabilization and attitude system, onboard engineering, and meteorological experimental equipment that were later used on the EOLE meteorological satellite. In addition, studies were made of the effects of the space radiation environment on solar cells composed of thin layers of cadmium sulfide and cadmium telluride. The satellite was in the form of a regular octahedron 0.70 m across opposite corners and 0.55 m long with eight solar panels containing 5920 solar cells, which were deployed 45 deg from the spacecraft's upper octagonal structure after orbital insertion. A 136.350-MHz (1-W) command receiver handled the command and programming telemetry. The satellite-balloon and satellite-earth interrogation systems were tested with a 400.190-MHz (4-W) transmitter that operated through an earth-oriented canted turnstile antenna mounted on the satellite base. PEOLE 1 was a success, and nearly all of its systems were incorporated into the design of EOLE 1.

Alternate Names

  • Preliminaire EOLE
  • 04801
  • Diamant-B No 2
  • PEOLE1

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1970-12-24
Launch Vehicle: Diamant
Launch Site: Kourou, French Guiana
Mass: 70 kg

Funding Agency

  • Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (France)


  • Communications
  • Engineering
  • Earth Science

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office



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