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Guiana Space Center gets fiber-optic upgrade from Space Alliance

French space agency CNES has chosen the Space Alliance, formed by Telespazio (Leonardo 67%, Thales 33%) and Thales Alenia Space (Thales 67%, Leonardo 33%), to extend the fiber-optic communications system (STFO) at the Guiana Space Center (CSG).
The new contract will also cover the new launch complex under construction for Ariane 6 (ELA4) at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana.

CNES is in charge of the CSG ground segment. The extended system is scheduled to be ready to meet the needs of Ariane 6 customers by the end of 2019.

The STFO communications system acts as an interface between launch customers’ test benches and satellites throughout the different launch preparation phases at CSG, including spacecraft fueling, satellite encapsulation under the launch vehicle fairing and launch pad operations. In operation since the 1990s, this system will now be extended and upgraded to serve Ariane 6 customers. The new system is specially designed to meet the needs of the very high throughput satellite (VHTS) market, since it extends radio-frequency (RF) services to 40 GHz and allows the simultaneous operation of two satellites in Ka-band.

“Telespazio France has played a lead role as communications service provider at Europe's Spaceport since the first commercial launch of Ariane 1,” said Jean-Marc Gardin, deputy CEO of Telespazio and CEO of Telespazio France in a press release from Thales. “We are very proud to have won this contract for the extension of the STFO system. Telespazio is already responsible for highly critical and demanding activities in the CSG, and this is our first opportunity to take an active role also in the installation of the new Ariane 6 launcher in French Guiana. I am sure that the Space Alliance’s comprehensive expertise in manufacturing and services will ensure top-flight performance for CNES and ESA.”

“We are proud to be able to deploy our expertise for Europe’s Spaceport, under the banner of the Space Alliance,” said Eduardo Bellido, CEO of Thales Alenia Space in Spain. “This latest success once again shows the complementary fit between our two companies’ areas of technical expertise and associated services.”

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July 18 2018 5:55 pm V10.0.0-1