The GEIPAN is part of the Orbital system directorate of the CNES in Toulouse.
The GEIPAN works with a network of 20 investigators that are located throughout France. These investigators take part in the examination of cases and can also when necessary and asked by the GEIPAN, do field investigations to gather further information. They use the GEIPAN’s guidelines that are defined in the investigator’s guide.
The GEIPAN also relies on external services to conduct investigations:
- The services that work with the GEIPAN allow it to quickly access tangible information: Gendarmerie Nationale, Armée de l’Air et de l'Espace, Aviation civile, Météo France...;
- The scientific community: le CNRS (especially the IMCEE), the CEA...
The GEIPAN also rely on a college of experts, approximately 20 volunteers, who come from different scientific fields and can examine the most complex observation cases submitted to them. They provide scientific support for the examination of cases.
The GEIPAN is supervised by a steering committee chaired by a recognized person form the aerospace world but also counts representatives of the French civil and military authorities (Gendarmerie Nationale, Police nationale, Aviation civile, Météo, Armée de l’Air et de l'Espace, CNRS et Recherche scientifique) and the CNES. This committee’s main task is to examine the GEIPAN’s results and to make recommendations to the CNES about the GEIPAN.