200 MNOK satellite contract


Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT) is awarded a contract to provide ground station services to serve the ESA GMES program (Global Monitoring for Enviroment and Security).

The contract covers services to the first three satellites, Sentinel 1, 2 and 3. The satellite program has a build-up phase in 2013, and shall be operational until 2020.

KSAT will be using the company’s ground stations in Svalbard Norway to provide services to the ESA GMES program. The Ground Stations will be operated from KSAT’s main office in Tromsø. The contract confirms KSATs position as the world leading provider of ground station services to polar orbiting satelliltes.

The frame contract is for five years of operation and has a value of approx. NOK 200 million.

Source: Kongsberg Gruppen


Galileo : Bruxelles pourrait avancer la prochaine commande de satellites

24/05 | 07:00 | Alain Ruello et Alexandre Counis

Bonne nouvelle : Galileo coûtera un peu moins cher que prévu. C’est ce qu’a laissé entendre hier Antonio Tajani, le commissaire européen à l’Industrie, en annonçant que les deux premiers satellites du GPS européen décolleront de Kourou le 20 octobre, à l’occasion du vol inaugural de Soyouz, la fusée russe, depuis la Guyane. Sur la période 2007-2013, la constellation devait coûter 3,4 milliards d’euros. Mais Bruxelles a réussi à dégager des économies. « L’argent épargné sera utilisé pour acheter des satellites dont l’acquisition n’était pas prévue sur l’enveloppe de 3,4 milliards  », s’est félicité Antonio Tajani.

A ce jour, 18 satellites sur les 30 prévus ont été achetés : les quatre premiers auprès d’EADS Astrium, les 14 autres à l’allemande OHB. Faute d’argent, les suivants ne devaient pas être acquis avant 2014. Pour cela, il fallait inscrire 1,9 milliard d’euros dans le prochain cadre budgétaire pluriannuel de l’Union. Devant l’ampleur de la rallonge, Bruxelles a demandé aux industriels de faire un effort.

Réserve de précaution

C’est le contrat des équipements au sol, le dernier restant à attribuer, qui aurait souffert. La Commission tablerait aussi sur une contribution de la Suisse. Les services d’Antonio Tajani envisageraient enfin de puiser dans une réserve de précaution non sollicitée à ce jour. Elle est évaluée à 200 millions d’euros. « Sur ce genre de programme, ce n’est pas très prudent de manger ses réserves », s’inquiètent déjà des industriels.

Au bout du compte, au moins six satellites supplémentaires pourraient être commandés avant mi-2012, ainsi qu’une adaptation d’Ariane V pour les lancer, selon des proches du dossier.


Source: Les Echos

MUSIS FA Programme Decision Signed

On Friday 13th May 2011, the Programme Decision for MUSIS FA (MUltinational Space based Imaging System – Federating Activities ) was signed by France and Italy. This Programme Decision is the cornerstone of the integration of this programme into OCCAR and sets out the detailed arrangements for the management by OCCAR of the Preliminary Definition Phase (« Phase B ») of the MUSIS Federating Activities Programme
The scope of this Programme Decision consists of the preliminary definition of a « Common Interoperability Layer » (CIL) to be developed to federate the MUSIS space components CSO (Composante Spatiale Optique) and CSG (COSMO Second Generation).
It consists in two consecutive sets of activities called MUSIS Phase Bl and MUSIS Phase B2.

Source: OCCAR

Launch of PSLV C-16 successful: ISRO Chairman

The seventeenth consecutive successful flight of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV C-16 has placed India’s latest remote sensing satellite Resourcesat-2, in a Polar Sun Synchronous orbit.

The mission control centre at Sriharikota burst into a loud applause and jubilation as the rocket blasted off in a southerly direction in a perfect predetermined flight trajectory. All flight parameters were normal.

About 1037 seconds after lift-off, the Resourcesat-2 got separated from the launch vehicle and was injected into the orbit.

A few minutes later, ISRO Chairman Dr Radhakrishnan declared the launch successful. He thanked Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh for the support lent to ISRO. Minister of State in PMO, V Narayanaswamy, present in the mission centre congratulated ISRO for the success. Indo-Russian satellites called Youthsat and a micro-satellite from Singapore were also launched in this mission.

This is the eighteenth mission of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle and the eleventh flight that employs standard configuration. In its standard configuration, the PSLV stands 44.4 meters tall and weighs 295 tons. It has 4 stages using solid and liquid propulsion systems alternately.

The first stage, also known as the core stage carries 138 tons of solid propellant is one of the largest solid propellant boosters in the world. Six solid propellant strap-on motors are strapped on to the core stage. The second stage carries 41 tons of liquid propellant while the third stage uses 7.6 tons of solid propellant. The fourth stage has a twin engine configuration with 2.5 tons of liquid propellant. The PSLV has sophisticated systems to control the vehicle and guide it through the predetermined trajectory. The PSLV C-16 carries Advanced Mission Computers and Advanced Telemetry Systems.

The Resourcesat -2 is India’s latest remote sensing satellite weighs 1206kg at lift-off. It has three cameras for high, medium and low resolution. The high resolution Linear Imaging Self Scanner, LISS-4 has a spatial resolution of 5.8 m and an enhanced swath of 70km. The medium resolution LISS-3 has a spatial resolution of 23.5m while the coarse resolution Advanced Wide Field Sensor has a spatial resolution of 56 m.

The Resourcesat-2 also has an additional experimental payload called Automatic Identification System for ship surveillance. The satellite also has two solid state recorders to store the images taken by its cameras which can be read out later to ground stations. It will have an orbital period of 101.35 minutes with 14 orbits per day. The local time of equator crossing is 10:30 AM and has an expected mission life of 5 years.

Pentagon Contract Announcement: TASC

TASC, Inc., of Andover, Mass., is being awarded a $600,000,000 Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity contract for advisory and assistance services for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency in support of the research and development enteprise. Bids were solicited and two (2) received.

The contracting activity is Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Ft Belvoir, Va., (HDTRA1-11-D-0004).

Work will be performed at Lorton, Va., and is expected to be completed April 2016.

Pentagon Contract Announcement: University of Dayton

University of Dayton Research Institute, Dayton, Ohio, is being awarded a maximum $48,600,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity plus-fixed-fee contract for the High Speed Air and Responsive Space Vehicle Technologies Program to conduct basic, applied and advanced research and development by advancing state-of-art and scientific knowledge in operationally responsive launch systems, and high speed air vehicle technologies.

At this time, $167,417 has been obligated.  Work will be performed at the University of Dayton Research Institute, Dayton, Ohio.

The AFRL/PKV, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8650-11-D-3134).

Pentagon Contract Announcement: United Launch Services


United Launch Services, Littleton, Colo., is being awarded a $292,958,632 cost-plus-award-fee contract modification for an extension of the period of performance of the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle launch capability contract by three months.

Work will be performed at Littleton, Colo.

The Space & Missile Systems Center, El Segundo, Calif., is the contracting activity (FA8816-06-C-0002-P00275).

Thales Alenia Space España supplies Telecommunications equipment for Orbital’s Cygnus Spacecraft

Madrid, March 24, 2011 – Thales Alenia Space España, has provided Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE:ORB) with advanced telecommunications systems for Telemetry, Tracking and Command (TTC) data for the Cygnus unmanned cargo resupply vehicle.The contract is worth more than 4 million Euros.

The contract with Thales Alenia Space España, signed last year, considers design, manufacturing, and supply for three TTC telecommunication systems in spread spectrum technology (a technology that prevents interference with nearby satellites) for the establishment of telecommunications links through the Tracking Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS)network. Thales’ systems will be installed in the first three Cygnus vehicles.

Juan Garcés de Marcilla, President and CEO of Thales Alenia Space España, said “ I am very pleased with the delivery of the communications systems to Orbital Sciences Corporation for its first Cygnus vehicle, seeing as this will encourage more collaboration between the companies and strengthen our leadership in telecommunications systems for space infrastructures and spacecrafts.¨ Also, Garcés de Marcilla stressed that “the flexibility of this product will serve all types of vehicles and launchers as it allows communication with the ground through various satellite systems.”

Thales Alenia Space España is the only European supplier of TTC telecommunications systems compatible with TDRSS satellites and validated by NASA. The Spanish company is a leading global supplier with a strong presence in the field of data telecommunications systems for both the European ATV and the Japanese HTV resupply vehicles. It also works actively in the definition and development of telecommunications systems, and for the future in-flight rendezvous manned vehicles (ARV).

First Lockheed Martin-Built Milstar II Satellite Marks 10 Years in Service

SUNNYVALE, Calif., March 23rd, 2011 — The first Milstar II military communications satellite, built by a Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] team for the U.S. Air Force, has surpassed its 10-year design life of on-orbit service, providing our nation’s warfighters with secure and reliable communications since its successful launch on Feb. 27, 2001.

Designated Milstar II Flight-4, the satellite is the first of three Block II spacecraft on orbit that offer a variety of enhanced communications features for the U.S. military. In addition to the UHF and Low Data Rate EHF payload provided by Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems of Redondo Beach, Calif., the satellite is equipped with a Medium Data Rate EHF payload built by Boeing Satellite Systems, El Segundo, Calif., which can process data at speeds up to 1.5 megabits per second. All Milstar satellites include crosslink payloads to communicate between on-orbit satellites

“Built by a talented and dedicated team, this national asset has delivered exceptional service to our warfighters around the globe for the last decade.” said Kevin Bilger, vice president and general manager, Global Communications Systems, Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Sunnyvale. “The Milstar constellation has provided critical protected communications capabilities for our warfighters and will continue to make an important contribution to national security for many years to come.”

The five-satellite Milstar constellation, which has surpassed 58 years of combined successful operations, provides a protected, global communication network for the joint forces of the U.S. military and can transmit voice, data, and imagery, in addition to offering video teleconferencing capabilities.

The system is the principal survivable, endurable means that the President, the Secretary of Defense and the Commander, U.S. Strategic Command have to maintain positive command and control of the nation’s strategic forces.

In addition to this 10-year milestone for Flight-4, the first two Milstar satellites have been on orbit for over 15 years – far exceeding their 10-year design life.

The new-generation Lockheed Martin-built Advanced EHF satellites will replace the Milstar constellation and increase data rates by a factor of five and the number of connections by a factor of two, permitting transmission of strategic and tactical military communications, such as real-time video, battlefield maps and targeting data. AEHF will be fully interoperable and backward compatible with Milstar

Orbit-raising of the first AEHF satellite, launched successfully on Aug. 14, 2010, is proceeding and is on track to reach its geosynchronous slot this summer. After reaching its intended orbit, the satellite’s sophisticated communications payload will be activated and a detailed checkout will be completed before operational service is initiated by the Air Force.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 132,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s 2010 sales from continuing operations were $45.8 billion.

Pentagon Contract Announcement: Lockheed Martin

The Missile Defense Agency is awarding Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co., Sunnyvale, Calif., a fixed-price incentive and cost-plus-fixed-fee modification with a total value of $694,964,438 under Missile Defense Agency contract HQ0147-07-C-0196.

The modification will include the definitization of an undefinitized contract action with a not-to-exceed value of $298,000,000.  Under this modification Lockheed Martin will manufacture and deliver 48 interceptors and ground support equipment required to support batteries three and four for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense Program.

The work will be managed in Sunnyvale, Calif., with final assembly performed in Troy, Ala.  The performance period is through December 2013.

Fiscal 2010 procurement funds in the amount of $144,847,937 and fiscal 2011 procurement funds of $430,916,501 will be used to fund this modification.

Fiscal 2010 procurement funds in the amount of $119,200,000 were previously funded on the UCA.

The Missile Defense Agency is the contracting activity.