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Tenders and Workplans

Alcatel ETCA develops SADE

08 Mar 2005

Through an ESA Telecom funded project, SADE (Solar Array Drive Electronics) has been fully qualified for the SpaceBus 3000 platform and added to the Alcatel ETCA product line improving the company's global competitiveness.

Satellites in orbit receive their power through large solar arrays that must be constantly aimed for maximum reception of solar energy. The pointing mechanism of these solar arrays are controlled by devices like SADE, through a technique called 'micro-stepping' providing a smooth and continuous movement.

Devices such as SADE must conform to demands from the CDMU (Control Digital Monitoring Unit). The CDMU is the data handling system, which determines the correct rotation speed for the solar array.

Price, mass and efficiency are key factors in market success for these products. As proven during the Proto-Flight Model (PFM), SADE satisfied all these requirements.

Solar Array Drive Electronics (SADE)

The image above-right shows the unit. It consists of two (2) modules and is fully redundant. The first module contains the service modules for the power supply distribution. The second module contains the SADE application.

ArabSat 2, SpaceBus 3000 platform

SADE is the next-generation system after the successful BAPTA-E, which has flown successfully on several missions. The improvement SADE offers, however, is in different data handling protocols, as well as its ability to drive different motors making it more flexible than other versions.

SADE's development means it can be adapted to various platforms and will meet most requirements, making it attractive to the market. Taking advantage of its proven experience in GEO, the knowledge built up by Alcatel ETCA through the SADE products can be applied to LEO satellites. Bringing their competitive position to a higher level.

Raymond Michel, SADE Project Leader of Alcatel ETCA in Belgium said about the future of SADE: "After the production capacity for BAPTA-E is exhausted, SADE will be used as the baseline for the next SpaceBus 3000 platform, when I expect future RFQ's (Request for Quotation) to be evaluated on the merits of each opportunity."

KoreaSat 5, SpaceBus 3000 platform

Giulio Simonelli, the ESA Technical Officer overseeing the project asserts: "SADE is not a cosmetic solution. It has been designed with maximum efforts for dedicated flexibility and ensures future reliability requirements. The successful development of SADE is an example of how ESA Telecom contributes to the global competitiveness of the European satcom industry."

To read more about the ESA Telecom funded project SADE and download copy of the executive summary, click under related links at the right of this page.

Last Update: 13 Mar 2007
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