(Cannes, November 4, 2008) -- Thales Alenia Space announced today that its Spanish subsidiary Thales Alenia Space Espana has been chosen to supply the X-band communication subsystems and the S-band TT&C transponders for the first three Sentinel observation satellites in the European Space Agency's Kopernikus program (formerly known as GMES - Global Monitoring for Environment and Security.)
The Sentinel satellites are being developed as part of the Space Component of the Kopernikus program, which is being co-funded by the European Commission. Thales Alenia Space Italy and France are prime contractors for the Sentinel 1 and 3 satellites, respectively, while Astrium is in charge of Sentinel 2.
As prime contractor for the X-band communication subsystem (TXA), Thales Alenia Space Espana leads a consortium including Thales Alenia Space France and Belgian companies. They are responsible for the specification, design, assembly, integration and testing (AIT), and delivery of this assembly for the Sentinel 1, 2 and 3 satellite families, as well as for the three recurrent ones.
Thales Alenia Space's Spanish subsidiary will also develop, manufacture and supply the S-band TT&C (telemetry, tracking and command) transponders for the three Sentinel satellites.
The X-band subsystem transmits high data volumes from observation satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO) to ground stations. The downlink data rate, based on an innovative arrangement of two frequency-multiplexed RF channels, exceeds 600 Mbps.
The S-band TT&C transponders allow Earth stations to control and communicate with the satellite.
Angel Post, Chief Executive Officer of Thales Alenia Space Espana, said: "We are very proud of our selection, which further strengthens our position as a supplier of high-tech spaceborne equipment, as well as in the AIT segment. At the same time, this contract bolsters our European leadership in advanced telecom subsystems and transponders."