Hispasat signs new satellite integrato

Iñaki Ferreras

Spain's satellite operator Hispasat has signed a contract with OHB and Thales Alenia Space the contracts for the development of the ‘Small GEO' mission. The contracts cover the build of the new platform and integration of its Hispasat AG1 craft, which is also called Small GEO.

Hispasat has signed an agreement with Thales Alenia Space Spain for the development of the payload (REDSAT) which is to be incorporated into this new satellite. The launching of the new satellite is set for 2012.

This Small GEO mission is backed in part by the European Space Agency (ESA) within its ARTES 11 program whose goal is the development, validation and launching of an innovative platform for geostationary small sized satellites which are able to satisfy the more demanding requirements of satellite communications.

According to Petra Mateos, Hispasat's president, "The signing of these contracts with two European technological companies means for us a new example of our compromise in contributing with its satellites to the development of Spain's space industry and also for Europe."

Hispasat says this move places it at the forefront of the initiatives promoted by the ESA in the development and commercial exploitation of fresh thinking in terms of payloads of innovative communications with which it will be, from which new communication services for the will flow especially in the area of DTH, broadband and HDTV.

The Hispasat AG-1 craft and REDSAT payload is based on a new generation of satellite design. It uses an active antenna which can be easily reconfigured. These systems will allow Hispasat to safely use more power on board the satellite and in so doing increasing its transmission capacity with a follow-on reduction in costs.

The new satellite has an in-orbit design life of 15 years, and will carry 20 transponders in the Ku and Ka bands. The Ka band beams will cover the whole of the Iberian Peninsula including the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, Madeira and the Azores Islands as well as the rest of
Europe, North Africa and America from Alaska down to Tierra del Fuego in the Argentine. As for the Ku bands they will cover the Iberian Peninsula, the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands.