ABSL Space Products is best known as the world leading supplier of Lithium-ion batteries for spacecraft and launch vehicles. However, it is important to understand that ABSL Space Products is not solely concerned with battery applications. Over the past forty years, ABSL has successfully qualified, delivered and space proven a wide range of technologies. Today, the current focus of ABSL Space Products is on components for the Optical Product and Energy Storage fields
ABSL is the world’s premier supplier of primary and secondary Lithium-ion batteries to the space industry, having accumulated more than 10,000 cell years of operation in space without failure. Since pioneering the use of Lithium-ion with the world’s first rechargeable Lithium-ion spacecraft battery (PROBA), we have received battery contracts for more than eighty spacecraft and launch vehicles. Thirty four of our battery systems have been launched powering spacecraft in various orbits. PROBA was designed for one-year mission duration and is still operating after nearly seven years in orbit.
ABSL supplied the first Lithium-ion spacecraft battery in-orbit. Our batteries have been launched on 34 satellites:
- 24 in LEO orbit
- 1 in MEO orbit
- 4 in GTO orbit
- 5 Interplanetary missions
ABSL has unrivalled space heritage:
- 10,000 cell-years in space
- 15,000 cell-years of life-test data
- Nearly 16 million cell-cycles of life-test data
ABSL have another 52 battery orders in production and awaiting launch:
- 34 LEO
- 1 MEO
- 2 GTO
- 3 GEO
- 8 Interplanetary
- 4 Launch vehicle
ABSL can supply batteries to meet the range of spacecraft and launch vehicle demands. ABSL primary batteries can be used for launch vehicle or ‘one shot’ spacecraft missions such as landers. ABSL secondary batteries are used on launch vehicles for avionics, pyrotechnic, flight termination and thrust vector control systems. On spacecraft, ABSL rechargeable battery systems mostly provide power during Launch and Early orbit OPerations (LEOP) periods as well as on station when solar arrays are in shadow. For all space applications, high reliability and assured performance in the most demanding of environments is key. ABSL batteries have proved incredibly reliable with industry leading performance with light weight being particularly important as this frees payload mass either for added spacecraft utility or launch capability.
ABSL is the leading supplier of Infra-Red (IR) Calibration Systems for Earth Observation missions in Europe. Our hardware is in operation on several experiments on the billion dollar Envisat spacecraft as well as Meteosat Second Generation (MSG). Our IR Calibration System hardware was most recently launched on the METOP-A weather platform in late 2006.
ABSL heads a consortium of companies developing receiver detector technologies for LIDAR applications. Recently, ABSL has led two successful bids winning a combined total of approximately $2M in development funding. One contract is aimed towards a future ESA spacecraft payload (due to launch in 2012) and the other for LIDAR technologies for use in docking as part of the ESA Aurora program for Mars Exploration.