Thales ETCA to supply the electrical core of 8 Galileo satellites
Thales Alenia Space ETCA, a subsidiary of Thales Alenia Space based in Charleroi, received an order from the German company OHB System to supply eight electronic modules for the last eight satellites in the Galileo* constellation. This additional batch of satellites is designed and manufactured by OHB System, industrial prime contractor for the space segment.
As part of the Fully Operational Capability (FOC) phase, the Belgian subsidiary has already signed a contract with OHB System to provide a Power & Distribution Conditioning Unit (PCDU) for each of the first 14 satellites in the constellation.
Satellite Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Communications
Thales Alenia Space ETCA is to design and deliver the Power Conditioning and Distribution Units, more commonly known as electrical cores. They supply power to all the satellites’ equipment and instruments, from the two power sources on board: the photovoltaic solar panels and the batteries during solar eclipses.
The PCDU will also manage the storage of the excess power produced by the solar panels in the satellites’ batteries.
According to Patrick Bury, Commercial and Programmes Manager at Thales Alenia Space ETCA: “This order represents 30,000 working hours for our company and strengthens our position as European leader in power distribution and management on board satellites.”
Galileo is the European programme for developing a global satellite navigation system. Applications will include maritime, air and land transport, emergency operations, public works and agriculture.
After the launch of the Giove-A and Giove-B test satellites in 2005 and 2008, and of the two pairs of In-Orbit Validation (IOV) satellites, the first of which was launched in October 2011, the Full Operational Capability (FOC) phase will be deployed, making a total of 30 satellites in the final configuration of this constellation.
An active participant in satellite navigation systems
The French, Italian, Spanish and Belgian sites of Thales Alenia Space have also long played a crucial part in developing the Galileo system and its predecessor, EGNOS:
Thales Alenia Space has been an important partner in the Galileo program since the beginning, with the ground-segment Galileo System Test Bed (GSTB) in 2003 and as lead subcontractor for the GIOVE-B demonstrator, launched in 2008. As prime contractor for assistance to the Galileo system, Thales Alenia Space provides ESA with industrial support for the system covering the engineering, performance, assembly, integration and validation of the system, and the engineering for the space signal, security and product assurance. Thales Alenia Space is also prime contractor for the development and deployment of the Galileo Mission Segment (GMS) and the Galileo Security Facility (GSF) which will control the entire navigation system from the ground. In addition, Thales Alenia Space will provide the signal generation units and antennas, two critical components of the navigation payload for the first 14 satellites to begin the deployment of the constellation to full operational capability (FOC).
For the four Galileo satellites of the IOV phase, Thales Alenia Space ETCA supplied the transmitter units that enable the satellites to communicate with the operators on the ground for remote control and telemetry. Thales Alenia Space ETCA also coordinated the various subcontractors that each build part of the hardware and software needed for these units. With the assistance of SSBV, Thales Alenia Space ETCA also designed and manufactured the benches for testing and validating the transmitter units before the four IOV satellites are launched.
The definition and development phase and IOV phase of the Galileo programme were conducted by ESA and co-funded with the European Commission.
*The Full Operational Capability phase of the Galileo programme is managed and fully funded by the European Union. The Commission and ESA have signed a delegation agreement by which ESA acts as design and procurement agent on behalf of the Commission. The views expressed in this Press Release can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Union and/or ESA."Galileo" is a trademark subject to OHIM application number 002742237 by EU and ESA.
Source : Thales Group (Paris: HO.PA)
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