(Cannes, August 22, 2008) -- Thales Alenia Space and Inmarsat signed today an ATP (Authorization To Proceed) for the development of the "EuropaSat" satellite to provide mobile broadcast and two-way telecommunications services in the S-Band throughout Europe. This signature confirms and consolidates Thales Alenia Space's strong in-house experience and long heritage in S-Band payloads.
Thales Alenia Space will commence work on the satellite design, based on its Spacebus 4000C3 platform and develop it through timely Critical Design Review to support a fully compliant application for a EC-wide S-band spectrum allocation by Inmarsat, under the recently-announced European S-Band Application Process ("ESAP" - European Selection and Authorisation Process). The spacecraft will carry a payload at 2 GHz generating 9 S-Band user spot beams in 2 polarizations, using a large S-Band Tx antenna of 12 meters diameter.
Designed with a lifetime of 15 years, the EuropaSat satellite will have a launch mass of 5.7 tonnes and will deliver 8.5 kW of payload power. The satellite is expected to be launched in early 2011, in compliance with the ESAP, and to be placed at 31oE to deliver services across the whole of the European landmass. The spacecraft manufacturing programme supports Inmarsat's imminent application for an award of S-band spectrum, pursuant to the ESAP, which commenced on 7 August 2008. and is subject inter alia to a successful outcome of the ESAP for Inmarsat.
Reynald Seznec, President and CEO of Thales Alenia Space said: "We are extremely pleased to have been selected by Inmarsat to assist their initiative. Following-on from the MoU signature between ESA and Inmarsat for the first Alphabus platform, this ATP marks another important success for Thales Alenia Space with Inmarsat.
"We are very grateful for the support of Thales Alenia Space for our application for an award of S-Band spectrum in the ESAP," said Inmarsat CEO Andy Sukawaty. "With the industrial support of Thales Alenia Space we are confident of submitting a compliant and highly credible application to the EC and positioning ourselves as a leading applicant for a substantial S-Band spectrum award. We are pleased to acknowledge that we will be counting on the industrial support from CNES to develop the sophisticated Digital Transparent Processor (DTP) that will be flown on the EuropaSat spacecraft, ensuring a flexible and powerful payload".