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Game-Changing Electric Propulsion Deployed

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Eutelsat-172B
The satellite industry has recognized the significance of All-Electric Satellites.  Boeing has had a successful program for some time.  Airbus has improved their competitiveness with their latest platform.  (Editor – EPIQ Space)

ESA ROLE IN EUROPE’S FIRST ALL-ELECTRIC TELECOM SATELLITE

17 October 2017Europe’s first all-electric telecom satellite has reached its final working orbit above the Pacific Ocean. Eutelsat-172B, built for Eutelsat by Airbus, carries new technologies developed through ESA-led projects, including fully articulated thruster arms.

The satellite relied entirely on electric thrusters to climb from its initial orbit into its planned slot over the equator some 35 800 km up, and is now using them to hold position.

“Electric propulsion is at least an order of magnitude more efficient than standard chemical propulsion for satellites,” explains ESA electric propulsion specialist Jose Gonzalez Del Amo.

“By electrically charging propellant and accelerating it using electrical power from solar arrays, much more energy is squeezed out of each breath of gaseous propellant.

Robotic arm

“This opens up the option of flying lighter satellites because they can fly on smaller launchers. Or a greater percentage of the same mass can be dedicated to the revenue-earning payload in place of bulky propellant tanks.

“The main trade-off is that all-electric satellites take much longer to reach their final orbit because electric propulsion provides low thrust, firing continuously to accelerate gradually over time.”

Eutelsat-172B – the first to fly of six Eurostar E3000 all-electric platforms sold so far to telecom companies by Airbus – reached its working orbit some four months after its 2 June launch.

ESA propulsion laboratory

Already a commercial success, this platform includes several innovations developed through ESA’s long-running Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems programme, as well as the equivalent Plan d’Investissements d’Avenir programme of France’s CNES space agency.

“All-electric telecom satellites have been in service globally since 2015, but Eurostar E3000 has a novel addition: a pair of 3 m-long three-jointed arms carrying thrusters on the end,” explains ESA structural engineer Mario Toso.

“Instead of having different thrusters embedded at corners of the satellite, the twin arms can be moved freely about its body.

 “One big advantage is that the thrusters can always be aligned precisely with the satellite’s centre of gravity for orbit raising and stationkeeping – saving propellant to elongate mission life.

“And this flexibility means the thrusts can be choreographed around antennas and solar wings which might otherwise be struck by thruster plumes.”

A second project developed the thrusters’ power processing unit – the interface between them and the rest of the satellite’s power system.

Satellite in testing

“The thrusters operate on a high voltage, receiving lower voltage inputs from the rest of the satellite,” says ESA power systems engineer Michail Tourloukis. “This unit helps to ensure that electrical noise from their operation does not come back inside the satellite.”

Improved versions of E3000’s thruster arms and power unit are now included in Airbus’s next-generation satellite platform, Eurostar Neo, which they are developing under ESA’s Neosat programme.

ESA’s Giorgio Saccoccia comments: “This game-changing electric propulsion on European commercial and scientific satellites is the result of more than two decades of development by ESA, in strong collaboration with national agencies and European companies.

“The achievement of Eutelsat-172B is a reward for the role that ESA has played with our partners, boosting the competitiveness of European products.”

October 25, 2017 |

Iridium Next Continues to Change the Satellite Industry

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Thales Group - Iridium_Montage

Iridium Next is well on its way to achieving its goal of launching 75 satellites by mid-2018 with the latest launch of 10 satellites.  This program has been helped change the satellite industry with lower than normal radiation requirements in exchange for deep discounts with some of the largest volumes procured for space applications.  Suppliers have developed new lines of products in response to this constellation and others like it.  (Editor – EPIQ Space)

SUCCESSFUL 3RD LAUNCH OF 10 IRIDIUM® NEXT SATELLITES!

Third batch of 10 satellites built by Thales Alenia Space ready to begin on-orbit testing in preparation to join the constellation
 
Cannes, 9 Octobre, 2017 – The third batch of Iridium® NEXT satellites built by Thales Alenia Space has been successfully launched by SpaceX from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. After the perfect commissioning of the first 20 satellites launched in January and June, thirteen of which are now interconnected and operating in full compatibility with the initial Block One Constellation, with seven being maneuvered to an adjacent plane, this new milestone allows to continue the fantastic Iridium® NEXT adventure.Thales Alenia Space is prime contractor for the Iridium® NEXT program, in charge of engineering, integration, operations and in-orbit validation of the 81 satellites and the overall system. The first 20 satellites showed that Iridium® NEXT is perfectly compatible with the existing system. The satellites are integrated in series by Thales Alenia Space’s subcontractor Orbital ATK, at its Satellite Manufacturing Facility in Arizona under the supervision of a dedicated local Thales Alenia Space team. Launch and Early Operations (LEOP) and In Orbit Tests are performed by Thales Alenia Space from the Iridium Control Center at Leesburg (Va).

“I am very pleased to see that the overall performances provided by the first 20 satellites are exceeding Iridium’s expectations. This is a significant reward for all the teams who have worked hard for years on this program. In addition to being a real feat of technological prowess, Iridium® NEXT, by integrating with the Iridium Block 1 constellation to provide global coverage without requiring local ground infrastructure, has recently proved its efficiency under the tragic circumstances in Puerto Rico, where 88 percent of the island’s cell phone network fell down due to the hurricane,” declared Denis Allard, Iridium® NEXT Vice President for Thales Alenia Space. He added: “In addition to this third launch, the production of 23 additional satellites has now been completed. We have also started integration of the 64th satellite. Everything is on track to meet our objective, namely to launch all 75 Iridium® NEXT orbital satellites by mid-2018”.

The Iridium® NEXT constellation will offer global connectivity thanks to 66 interconnected satellites at an altitude of 780 km, along with nine spares in parking orbits and six more spare satellites on the ground. This international system provides unrivaled capability for communications on the move (individuals, land vehicles, aircraft, ships), and ensures full global coverage, including the oceans.

Copyrights:
Artistic view: © Thales Alenia Space/Master Image Programmes
Photos: © SpaceX

About Thales Alenia Space
Combining 40 years of experience and  a unique diversity of expertise, talents and cultures, Thales Alenia Space architects design and deliver high technology solutions for telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, environmental management, exploration, science and orbital infrastructures.  Governments, institutions and companies rely on Thales Alenia Space to design, operate and deliver satellite-based systems that help them position and connect anyone or anything, everywhere, help observe our planet, help optimize the use of our planet’s – and our solar system’s – resources. Thales Alenia Space believes in space as humankind’s new horizon, which will enable to build a better, more sustainable life on Earth. A joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), Thales Alenia Space also teams up with Telespazio to form the parent companies’ Space Alliance, which offers a complete range of services and solutions. Thales Alenia Space posted consolidated revenues of about 2.4 billion euros in 2016 and has 7,980 employees in nine countries. www.thalesaleniaspace.com

Thales Alenia Space – Press Contacts:

Sandrine Bielecki
Phone: +33 (0)4 92 92 70 94
sandrine.bielecki@thalesaleniaspace.com

Chrystelle Dugimont
Phone: +33 (0)4 92 92 74 06
chrystelle.dugimont@thalesaleniaspace.com

Cinzia Marcanio
Tel: +39 06 41512685
cinzia.marcanio@thalesaleniaspace.com

October 9, 2017 |

U.S. Reestablishes National Space Council

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It is always great to see interest in Space programs.  Whether it is new products or services from the various suppliers around the world, Space Agencies investing in new programs, deep space endeavors, new countries entering the market, or new initiatives like SmallSats.  It is very important to the US Space industry to see a renewed interest from the current administration reestablishing the National Space Council.  (Editor – EPIQ Space)

NASA Provides Coverage for First Meeting of the National Space Council

NASA Television and the agency’s website will provide live coverage of the first meeting of the National Space Council starting at 10 a.m. EDT Thursday, Oct. 5.

The meeting, titled “Leading the Next Frontier: An Event with the National Space Council,” will be held at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia. It will be chaired by Vice President Mike Pence and include participation by acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot, as well as a number of Trump Administration cabinet members and senior officials, and aerospace industry leaders.

“We expect to come out of this meeting with a reinvigorated focus for America’s space exploration goals that engages all the innovation of NASA and our partners, moves us toward national priorities, and excites people around the world,” said Lightfoot.

The council will hear testimonial from expert witnesses who represent the sectors of the space industry: Civil Space, Commercial Space, and National Security Space. President Trump signed an executive order reestablishing the National Space Council on June 30.

October 4, 2017 |

Vice President Pence Visits NASA

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Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Alabama, and Vice President Mike Pence talk with Expedition 53 crew members Joe Acaba, Randy Bresnik and Mark Vande Hei of NASA, who currently are working and living aboard the International Space Station, from the Payload Operations Integration Center at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017.
The U.S. Space program has gone through many cuts over the years including the Space Shuttle.  A visit by Vice President Mike Pence hopefully is a great indication of a bright future.  (Editor – EPIQ Space)
Sept. 25, 2017
RELEASE 17-080

Vice President Pence Visits NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center

Vice President Mike Pence tours Marshall Space Flight Center
Vice President Mike Pence, second from left, is given an overview on Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, of NASA’s Space Launch System structural test stand at the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, by Center Director Todd May, right, as Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Ala., looks on. The Vice President visited the space center to view test hardware for NASA’s Space Launch System, America’s new deep space rocket and to call the crew aboard the International Space Station.
Credits: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Makes First White House-level Call to Space Station Crew from Center

Vice President Mike Pence offered his thanks Monday to employees working on NASA’s human spaceflight programs during a tour of the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

The Vice President saw the progress being made on NASA’s Space Launch System(SLS), the world’s most powerful deep space rocket, that will send astronauts on missions around the Moon and ultimately to Mars. He also visited Marshall’s Payload Operations Integration Center, where the agency manages all research aboard the International Space Station.

“Today, I met pioneers who are helping America travel into the unknown and expand our knowledge for the benefit of the nation,” said Vice President Pence. “I’m inspired by the people at Marshall, and NASA as a whole, who are passionate and dedicated to space exploration. The massive hardware and innovative technologies we are building will propel us far beyond our home planet and allow America to lead in space again.”

From Marshall’s science command center, Vice President Pence called the NASA astronauts aboard the space station and spoke with Expedition 53 commander Randy Bresnik, and flight engineers Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba. This is the first White House-level call to the International Space Station from Marshall. He also met with the ground controllers that provide around-the-clock support of the crew’s scientific activities on the orbiting laboratory, paving the way for future deep space exploration missions.

“The work underway today at Marshall, supporting station science and with SLS, is integral to ensuring this nation’s incredible global leadership in human exploration,” said acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot. “Vice President Pence now has personally visited three NASA centers in the last four months, and I deeply appreciate the Vice President’s strong commitment to our space exploration mission.”

The Vice President toured the SLS engineering facility where the engine section of the rocket’s massive core stage is undergoing a major stress test. The rocket’s four RS-25 engines and the two solid rocket boosters that attach to the SLS engine section will produce more than 8 million pounds of thrust to launch the Orion spacecraft beyond low-Earth orbit. More than 3,000 measurements using sensors installed on the test section will help ensure the core stage for all SLS missions can withstand the extreme forces of flight.

“The work we are doing today is paving the way for a new generation of astronauts to travel farther into space than humans have ever ventured before,” said Marshall Center Director Todd May, who hosted the visit. “This next chapter in the story of our national space program is being written by the men and women of Marshall, who keep us on the leading edge of spaceflight and truly make this the Rocket City.”

The Vice President concluded his visit with a tour of U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center for briefs from Army leaders on current missile defense projects and Army initiatives. Redstone Arsenal, where Marshall is located, is an Army installation with a workforce of around 41,000 active duty military, government civilians, and contractors. The arsenal is a federal center of excellence hosting components of more than 70 government organizations, including NASA, Department of Defense, Missile Defense Agency, FBI, and Department of Justice.

For more information about NASA’s missions and activities, including video and images of Vice President Pence’s tour of the Marshall Space Flight Center, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/marshall

-end-

Jen Rae Wang
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-1600
jenrae.wang@nasa.gov

Kim Newton
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.
256-544-0034
kimberly.d.newton@nasa.gov

Last Updated: Sept. 26, 2017
Editor: Karen Northon
September 26, 2017 |

Europe’s Newest Launcher

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ARTIST’S VIEW OF THE CONFIGURATION OF ARIANE 6 USING TWO BOOSTERS (A62)

Space investments continue to mount around the world.  Europe’s new vehicle provides yet another milestone in our space legacy.  (Editor – EPIQ Space)

You can find this article and others on ESA’s website here.

Four of the latest set of Galileo navigation satellites will be launched on Ariane 6 rockets – ESA’s first contract to use Europe’s new vehicle.

The launches are scheduled between the end of 2020 and mid-2021, using two Ariane 62 rockets – the configuration of Europe’s next-generation launch vehicle that is best suited to haul the two 750 kg navigation satellites into their orbits at 23 222 km altitude.

Under development, Ariane 6 is Europe’s newest launcher, designed to extend guaranteed access to space for Europe at a competitive price. It will operate in two configurations, depending on customer needs: Ariane 62 is fitted with two strap-on boosters while Ariane 64 has four.

“Ariane 6 is not only in full development, but it will soon be put to use,” notes Daniel Neuenschwander, ESA’s Director of Space Transportation. “This contract is a key step in the upcoming ramp-up phase of Ariane 6.”

The Galileos have so far either been launched in pairs by Soyuz from French Guiana or in fours by Ariane 5.

A new Ariane 5 flight is scheduled for the end of this year, to add four more satellites to the 18-strong constellation already in orbit. This month saw the arrival of the first elements of the rocket in French Guiana, transported aboard the MN Colibri roll-on/roll-off ship.

The contract specifies the decision to use Ariane 62 is subject to the vehicle’s development schedule, with Soyuz available as an alternative. A final choice will be made at the end of 2018, two years before the first launch.

Galileo is Europe’s own satellite navigation system, providing an array of positioning, navigation and timing services to Europe and the world.

A further eight Galileo ‘Batch 3’ satellites were ordered last June, to supplement the 26 built so far.

Galileo satellites

With 18 satellites now in orbit, Galileo began initial services on 15 December 2016, the first step towards full operations.

Further launches will continue to build the constellation, which will gradually improve system performance and availability worldwide.

The launch contract with Arianespace was signed by Paul Verhoef, ESA’s Director of the Galileo Programme and Navigation-related Activities, and Stéphane Israel, Arianespace’s Chief Executive Officer. ESA signed the contract on behalf of the EU represented by the European Commission – Galileo’s owner. The Commission and ESA have a delegation agreement by which ESA acts as design and procurement agent on behalf of the Commission.

September 18, 2017 |

Boeing Satellite Most Advanced Digital Payload

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The O3b mPOWER satellites will include Boeing’s most-advanced digital payload technology and will be built using electronics from the flight-proven 702 satellite platform customized to support the unique MEO environment.

Boeing has provided advanced satellites for the Space Industry for many decades.  The latest medium earth orbit satellite for SES will deliver a new direction for the industry.  (Editor – EPIQ Space)

Boeing to Design and Build Seven Medium Earth Orbit Satellites for SES

The satellites will carry Boeing’s most-advanced digital payload applicable to all orbits.

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Sept. 11, 2017 – Boeing [NYSE: BA] will design and build seven super-powered medium earth orbit (MEO) satellites for SES, delivering efficient high-performance data communications services to users around the world.

The O3b mPOWER satellites will include Boeing’s most-advanced digital payload technology and will be built using electronics from the flight-proven 702 satellite platform customized to support the unique MEO environment.

“With this new technology and design, Boeing is able to build satellites faster and more cost-effectively while still providing the high performance our customers have come to expect from Boeing digital satellites,” said Paul Rusnock, chairman and CEO, Boeing Satellite Systems International, Inc. “This latest digital payload design has an unprecedented level of technology integration, built-in test capability and is modular and scalable for all orbits.”

“The SES O3b mPOWER system opens a new era of connectivity, fundamentally transforming the role and capabilities of satellites,” said Karim Michel Sabbagh, president and CEO at SES. “O3b mPOWER is a unique system with exponentially more power, performance and flexibility, which sets the technology at the highest level, offering a visionary roadmap for next generation technology.”

The satellites are designed to be launched up to four at a time in a stacked configuration, depending on the selected launch vehicle.

Starting in the 1990s, Boeing has built 12 satellites for SES. The latest, SES-15, was launched earlier this year.

For more information on Defense, Space & Security, visit www.boeing.com. Follow us on Twitter: @BoeingDefense.

# # #

Contact:

Joanna Climer
Space and Missile Systems
Office: +1 310-364-7113
Mobile: +1 310-227-3534
joanna.e.climer@boeing.com

September 11, 2017 |

Hurricane Harvey and the Satellite Industry

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We often forget all of the applications of the satellite industry.  The predictions of Hurricane Harvey is largely a result of the industry.  (Editor – EPIQ Space)
Find this article and others on ESA’s website here.

HURRICANE HARVEY

  • Released 05/09/2017 11:13 am
  • Copyright NASA
  • DescriptionAlthough the pictures of the devastation of Hurricane Harvey on Earth leave little to the imagination, seeing it from space confirms the enormous power the hurricane had. Taken by NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik from the International Space Station orbiting Earth at 400 km altitude, Randy commented, “The destructive power beneath the clouds of Hurricane Harvey ruins any thought of the beauty of the cloud formations from above”.

    The hurricane hit mainland USA and caused flooding and damage affecting hundreds of thousands of people. The city of Houston was hit with much of its force including NASA’s Johnson Space Center, the main site for astronauts and the International Space Station. Mission control in Houston remained operational despite the centre being closed from August 28 until today – flight controllers slept on site in makeshift beds as entrance to the facility was difficult due to floods.

    After record rainfall for five days, the storm passed, leaving many people without homes, water or electricity. ESA has many staff members working at Johnson Space Center including ESA astronauts Luca Parmitano and Andreas Mogensen. People in Houston are now working to rebuild damaged property.

    Among the many consequences of the hurricane, was the delay of the departure of NASA’s G5 plane from Houston to collect NASA astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer from their landing site after their mission on the International Space Station. An ESA plane was sent to retrieve the two astronauts in Karaganda, Kazakhstan, and brought them back to Cologne, home of ESA’s astronaut centre for a stopover before continuing to USA.

    ESA’s Director General Jan Woerner said, “Spaceflight is a global endeavour and partnerships created by the International Space Station extend beyond space back to Earth. Our thoughts go out to everyone affected by Harvey, our American colleagues and their friends and families.”

September 6, 2017 |

Eclipse Image from NASA

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Image of the Moon transiting across the Sun, taken by SDO in 171 angstrom extreme ultraviolet light on Aug. 21, 2017.

Credit: NASA/SDO

Last Updated: Aug. 21, 2017
Editor: Rob Garner
The Solar Eclipse created a tremendous amount of excitement and entertainment across the US today.  Images continue to emerge from across the country.  The attached image was taken by SDO.
While it may have been difficult to obtain decent images with a standard camera or view it with special glasses, the attached image captures the spectacular moment.
Editor – EPIQ Space
August 21, 2017 |

Additec CEO Discusses Unique Additive Technology Solution

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EPIQ Space interviews Brian Matthews, CEO and President of Additec at Space Tech Expo in Pasadena California.  Additec has a unique additive technology solution and Brian discusses their ability to build affordable larger systems.

The industry has been developing additive technology solutions.   Additec is leading the way with innovative solutions to meet the needs of complex devices.

Editor EPIQ Space

 

August 7, 2017 |

Alicia Monroy Introduces High Data Rate Fischer Products

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EPIQ Space had the opportunity to meet with Alicia Monroy at Space Tech Expo in Pasadena California.  Alicia introduced a unique series of connectors  that achieve higher data rates which are smaller and lighter than traditional connector solutions.

Innovative customers are using miniature high density connectors with power and signal options.  Even though the connector are very small, they are very rugged.  These reliable connectors are very low profile with unique features for routing wires.

Editor:  EPIQ Space

 

 

 

August 2, 2017 |
Epiq Space

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