CNES projects library

July 2, 2019


CNES’s COMETs are networks of experts focused on space-related technologies and methodologies, federating more than 5,000 stakeholders from the worlds of research, industry and institutions around 20 disciplines in France. Since 2015, the agency has extended the scope of its COMETs to legal and human resources matters, as well as to other non-technical fields under its remit.

CNES first set up these communities, initially called technical expertise centres, in 1998 to encourage excellence, nurture expertise, spur innovation and leverage experience by:

  • Sharing knowledge to boost technical and methodological know-how at individual and team levels
  • Spurring innovative ideas and priming the pipeline of doctoral research and R&T
  • Helping to shape CNES’s technology policy and roadmaps
  • Disseminating know-how
  • Drawing on lessons learned

Today, COMETs are a focal point for exchange between the space sector and other areas of activity, laying the groundwork for the future and assuring mutual benefits for all partners, across all areas of technical and functional expertise useful to CNES.

Each COMET led by a duo overseeing a multipartite CNES-research-industry-agency bureau with 10 to 40 members proposes and executes an annual programme of events for its community, which plays an active role driving proposals and may count anything between 200 and 800 members. A ‘Like’ COMET covers the needs of other thematic domains for which no formal COMET exists.

In all, more than 60 seminars are held every year, most of them open and offering free entry by registering on CNES’s COMET website (

By bringing together diverse professional communities and cultures in a relaxed and informal setting, such ‘open innovation’ events help to share and advance knowledge, and to spawn new ideas.

The domains of expertise currently covered by CNES’s COMETs are:

AITPayload and spacecraft integration
ECMElectromagnetism and microwave circuits
EDBOn-board power systems
ENVAtmospheric and space environment
IREData processing and embedded networks
MCEMicrosystems and electronic components
OOEOptics and optoelectronics
OPSSpace mission operations and exploitation
ORBSpaceflight dynamics
P&APropulsion & Aerothermodynamics
PDSSatellite positioning and timing
SCACommand and automation systems
SILInformation systems architecture and software engineering
S&CSystem and Cost
TSISignal and image processing systems
LIKEOrphan themes


See the COMET website.