ARTES 8 Alphabus/Alphasat
ARTES 8 Alphabus/Alphasat is a specific element dedicated to the development and deployment of Alphasat. Alphasat is the satellite that, in partnership with Inmarsat, will incorporate the first unit of the Alphabus Platform jointly developed by Astrium and Thales Alenia Space. Alphasat incorporatess innovative on-board processing technology and user services.
The programme line has the following objectives:
- Develop and qualify, together with CNES (Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales) and industry, a generic product line for Alphabus based on ground qualification of development and engineering models.
- Procure a flight-standard platform (proto-flight model) to facilitate early first flight opportunity (in frame of Alphasat).
- Consolidate a Large Platform Mission combining ESA-funded payloads with institutional and/or commercial payloads, allowing the in-orbit demonstration of a protoflight large platform
System and Launch
Launch of Alphasat on Ariane 5 is scheduled for 2013.
The Service Module consists of the main structure, the central tube, internal deck and several other structural elements equipped with thermal hardware, the chemical propulsion system with the main apogee boost motor, pressure control assembly with three Helium tanks and the two large propellant tanks inside the central tube and part of the plasmic propulsion system with in particular the Xe tanks.
Beyond this shipment, some Alphabus items will be still in production in Cannes for integration on the satellite at a later stage: e.g. the Xenon propulsion system gas plate or the PPS 1350 thrusters mounted on their thruster orientation mechanisms (TOM).
The integration of the payload on the Repeater Module progressed well in Portsmouth, UK. More than 215 items of equipments have been mounted. The halves of the Repeater Module were coupled together in November, followed by
the integration of the L-band feed in December. The payload Repeater Module will be shipped to Toulouse for integration with the platform.
The Inmarsat extended L- band (XL) payload will support advanced geomobile communications and augment Inmarsat's Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) service with its coverage centred over Africa and providing additional coverage to Europe, the Middle-East and parts of Asia.
Technology Demonstration Payloads
The Technology Demonstration Payloads (TDPs) consist of:
TDP1: an Advanced Laser Communication Terminal to demonstrate GEO to LEO communication links at 1064nm (supplied as customer furnished item by DLR):
TDP5: a Q-V Band communications experiment to assess the feasibility of these bands for future commercial applications
TDP6: an Advanced Star Tracker with active pixel detector
TDP8: an Environment effects facility to monitor the GEO radiation environment and its effects on electronic components and sensors
The contract for the Alphabus Extension was awarded to industry in November, and several subcontractor activities were started in November and December. CNES has approved complementary funding to complete the Alphabus Extension scope, to be implemented through additional ESA and CNES national funding.
Alphasat User and Application segment
The user segment and application programme will support the exploitation of the Alphasat satellite enhanced performances, developing new value added services to mobile institutional and public users on a pan-European scale. The work plan contains a set of activities defined together with Inmarsat based on their plans for new services and terminal classes to be incorporated into Inmarsat’s portfolio for Alphasat as well as for the complete Inmarsat satellite constellation.
Last Update: 10 Jun 2013