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Astrium chosen as industrial partner by Argentine satellite operator ARSAT


Paris. – ARSAT has selected Astrium to supply the Arsat 1 satellite with a variety of key technologies: the Satellite Processing Unit (SPU), the central cylinder as well as the propulsion subsystem. Arsat-1, the first in a series of satellites, is scheduled to be launched in 2012 and will provide coverage for Latin America.

* Astrium to supply Argentina’s first telecommunications satellite with key technologies

The SPU (Satellite Processing Unit) is the satellite platform’s on-board computer. This is one of the satellite’s key components. Hosting the Argentine custom developed software, it controls telecommand, telemetry and spacecraft internal communication interfaces, monitors the vehicle systems and contributes to the satellite’s fault detection, isolation and recovery (FDIR) system.

Astrium has already delivered more than 100 control computers in various projects with different international satellite integrators.

The composite central cylinder is the primary structure of Arsat-1. It is the ‘backbone’ of the satellite, having a mass of only 50 kg due to the use of an ultra-high modulus carbon fibre sandwich. This forms an interface with the launcher and supports the total mass of the satellite, which can be up to three tons. A total of 70 central cylinders like this have already been developed by Astrium.

For both the SPU and central cylinder, Astrium was selected by ARSAT as a result of an international competition.

Astrium was later selected to provide the propulsion subsystem - a bi-propellant system which uses an oxidizer and fuel to propel the satellite after separation from the launcher to its final orbital position. During the satellite’s lifetime it provides active attitude control and 3-axis stabilization for accurate antenna pointing.

Astrium has produced more than 50 Bi-Propellant Systems for different customers worldwide.


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