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Europe's largest telecom satellite ready for test


The mating procedure of the Alphabus service module and the Alphasat repeater module completes successfully on 15 March. An ESA photo

PARIS (BNS): Europe's largest telecom satellite – Alphasat - is taking shape with final assembly and testing ready to begin in Toulouse, France.

Planned for launch in late 2012 on Ariane 5, the satellite will provide advanced mobile communication links for commercial operator Inmarsat.

Alphasat is the first satellite to use the Alphabus platform developed by Astrium and Thales Alenia Space under a joint ESA and French space agency (CNES) contract.

A wide range of commercial payloads to provide TV broadcast, broadband multimedia, Internet access and mobile and fixed telecommunication services can be accommodated on Alphabus.

The Alphabus service module was mated Tuesday with the Alphasat communications module at the Astrium facilities in Toulouse, ESA said.

Alphabus is now on the commercial market to accommodate missions requiring up to 18 kW of payload power. Improvements will extend the range up to 22 kW.

Alphasat carries a new generation of advanced geomobile communications payload to augment Inmarsat’s Broadband Global Area Network service, enabling communications across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East with increased capacity.

It features a new-generation digital signal processor and a 12 m-diameter antenna. It also carries technology demonstration payloads developed through ESA.

Tags:

ESA  Satellite  Alphasat  

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