© beaniebeagle dreamstime.com Electronics Production | September 14, 2016
Thales Alenia Space signs phase B contract with LeoSat
Thales Alenia Space and LeoSat Enterprises have signed a phase B contract for the development of a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite constellation.
The satellite will offer very-high-speed broadband, low latency and secure global connectivity, aiming to set a new standard in satellite network performance. Following the initial phase resulting in the preliminary definition of the LeoSat constellation, which validated the technical feasibility of the system and its compatibility with other Ka-band services, the current phase B concerns the detailed definition of the overall system architecture and performance specifications, including both the ground and space segments. It will also provide the framework needed to set up an optimised organisation for production and deployment. The LeoSat constellation will comprise from 78 to 108 high-power Ka-band satellites in low Earth orbit, providing global service for large corporations and government agencies. Through the use of tracking spot beams and specific anti-interference techniques, the constellation is designed to prevent interference with geostationary satellite orbiting systems (GSO) and non-geostationary satellite orbiting systems operating in the same frequency band (NGSO). LeoSat satellites will feature innovative technologies and bring together a range of tried and tested systems, including optical inter-satellite links, gigabit class, onboard processors, flexible steerable antennas, and RF over PCB. They will use the enhanced EliteBusTM platform, offering higher payload power and mass while optimising launch cost and schedule. LeoSat will rely on Thales Alenia Space’s industrial organisation and capability developed in the frame of previous constellations such as O3b and Iridium Next, delivering a cumulated amount of 125 LEO/MEO satellites. LeoSat will also benefit from efficient and safe use of commercial off the shelf components for high integration and mass production technologies as well as for cost effective manufacturing. Thales Alenia Space, which recently acquired RUAG's opto-electronics business, now has the ability to provide an in-house solution for the constellation’s critical optical inter-satellite link technology, which will be key to overall system performance.