2007-11-25 - AlphasatESA and Inmarsat sign innovative Alphasat satellite contract
Alphasat für Inmarsat von Astrium gebaut<br /> ESA and Inmarsat Global Ltd announce on Friday 23 November in Paris the formal signature of the contract for Alphasat satellite, one of the world's largest telecommunications satellites.
The Alphasat programme is a major cooperation between the public and private sectors. With Alphasat, Inmarsat will be the first commercial customer for the Alphabus platform, the new European high-power telecommunications platform jointly developed by Astrium and Thales Alenia Space and initiated by a partnership between ESA and CNES (Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales) as a coordinated European response to the increased market demand for larger telecommunication payloads, for new broadband, broadcasting and mobile communications services.
The Alphabus Alphasat programme represents an expenditure of Euro440 million by 16 ESA Member States. Under the development schedule, Alphasat will be available for launch in 2012. Positioned at 25 degrees East, providing extended coverage to Africa, Europe, the Middle-East and parts of Asia , Alphasat will supplement the existing Inmarsat satellite constellation and offer the opportunity for new and advanced services.
Astrium Satellites is the industrial prime contractor for the development of the satellite, including its advanced L-Band mission, which will augment the successful services already being offered by Inmarsat's Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN). Key to the implementation of this payload is the advanced Integrated Processor, being developed by Astrium Satellites in the UK, which will provide payload flexibility enabling full coverage reconfiguration and flexible power allocation.