OHB System and Astrium sign contract for EDRS

OHB System AG and Astrium GmbH today signed the final contract for the delivery of a satellite for the upcoming European Data Relay Satellite System (EDRS). The contract is valued at EUR 157.5 million.

With the establishment of the European Data Relay Satellite System by the European Space Agency ESA, a new standard in space-based communications is to be implemented. The decision to go ahead with EDRS was made at the ESA council of ministers conference in Den Haag in 2008. It is now being implemented under the industrial leadership of Germany with the material support of the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) and the German Aerospace Center (DLR). Astrium is ESA’s industrial prime contractor and responsible for setting up and subsequently operating the entire EDRS system.

The EDRS-C satellite, which is now being developed and built by OHB System, thus forms part of a constellation of geostationary satellites which will be receiving data from low-flying satellites and transmitting it to the earth. The geostationary position of the relay satellites over Europe offers great advantages for numerous communications and earth observation applications such as greater data transmission rates, longer and swifter contact times and enhanced data security.

EDRS-C is currently being assembled on the basis of the SmallGEO platform currently under development at OHB System under ESA’s ARTES 11 program. The planned payload comprises an optical laser communications terminal (LCT) for the intersatellite links and a Ka band module for transmitting the data received to the ground. To be supplied by Tesat Spacecom GmbH from Backnang near Stuttgart, the payload transmits 1,800 Mpbs per data at the speed of light across a distance of up to 45,000 kilometers.

The satellite is to go into operation in 2016.

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