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Electronics Production | April 26, 2011

RUAG Space supplies Iridium NEXT satellites

RUAG Space has won a contract for the delivery of 81 electronics units for the next generation if Iridium mobile communications satellites – Iridium NEXT. These Iridium Payload Interface Units (PLIUs) will be manufactured in Gothenburg, Sweden by order of Thales Alenia Space, the prime contractor for Iridium NEXT.
“We have been fighting hard for this very large commercial order. We are well pre-pared and fully committed to contribute to program success,” says Bengt Mörtberg, Head of the Swedish RUAG Space activities. “We are pleased with the trust Thales Alenia Space shows us through this order which also consolidates our partnership on both commercial and government markets,” adds Mörtberg.

The Iridium satellite constellation makes up the world’s farthest reaching communica-tions network. Only Iridium can provide a truly global connection between people and assets due to its unique network architecture and its partner ecosystem. Iridium NEXT, which will deliver and enhance Iridium’s unmatched global connectivity services for decades to come, will replace the current Iridium network, with launches starting in 2014.

As prime contractor for Iridium NEXT, Thales Alenia Space is responsible for managing engineering development, systems integration and manufacture of the space segment comprising 66 operational Iridium satellites, six in-orbit spare satellites and nine ground spare satellites. Thales Alenia will design Iridium NEXT satellites to host payloads that will provide a unique value proposition to government organizations in terms of cover-age, latency and cost when it comes to gathering and communicating mission-critical global data.

RUAG Space AB in Sweden will supply 81 Flight Models of a Payload Interface Unit (PLIU) for control and monitoring of the Iridium satellite payloads including temperature control, equipment status, reconfigurations and antenna pointing. The units will contain a combination of digital and analog electronics.

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