On 18th June 2009 ABSL were awarded a high-profile, landmark contract to power OHB’s new, small geostationary satellite bus – SGEO. The contract, to supply lithium-ion batteries for the SGEO commercial geostationary telecoms platform, consolidates the development and validation work done at ABSL to demonstrate the capability of the company’s small-cell approach for longer-duration missions. The battery will provide power during eclipse seasons and for electric propulsion throughout the spacecraft’s fifteen year operational lifetime.
The SGEO platform is being built under the ARTES-11 programme with OHB-System of Germany installed as prime contractor. The SGEO platform provides a modular bus, whereby each satellite can be fitted individually in accordance with the customer’s specific requirements without any major modifications to the platform. To maintain this approach, ABSL have provided a modular battery solution. This approach allows the battery size to be scaled appropriately for each mission, thereby optimising electrical performance and battery mass.
The first SGEO mission will be launched in 2012 as “Hispasat Advanced Generation 1” with a payload used by the Spanish satellite operator Hispasat. The AG1 spacecraft will be placed in a geostationary orbit at an altitude of 36,000 kilometres where it will supply Spain, Portugal, the Canary Islands and America with multimedia services. AG1 will be integrated with Hispasat’s existing fleet of geostationary communication satellites.
Upon contract award Roger Dewell, Business Development Team Manager of ABSL Space Products made the following comments:
“This strategically important contract win places us at the forefront of advanced lithium-ion battery development, whether for shorter missions or, now, for long-term, high performance space missions. The acceptance by the wider space community of our simple, small cell approach is certainly gaining momentum, which is very rewarding in the current competitive environment. I’m certainly expecting to see further wins in this market sector as we further enhance our range of advanced power solutions, optimised for all types of satellite platform”
SGEO is the second major contract between OHB and ABSL. In 2006, ABSL were awarded the contract to supply batteries for the SAR-Lupe spacecraft constellation. The five-satellite constellation provides up to the minute radar images and is now fully operational in-orbit, performing successfully under the control of the German Strategic Reconnaissance Command.
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Notes To Editors:
ABSL Space Products (formerly AEA Technology Space)
ABSL Space Products is the world leader in the supply of Lithium-ion batteries for space applications with contracts for more than one hundred spacecraft and launch vehicles. ABSL supplied the first rechargeable Lithium-ion battery flown in space, and now over fifty spacecraft are flying powered by ABSL Lithium-ion battery technology.
ABSL has built up a global customer base, winning major contracts from NASA, ESA, and major prime manufacturers in North America, Europe and the rest of the world. ABSL has highly varied space energy storage capability having delivered primary, secondary, high power, high energy and high voltage solutions to the space industry.
ABSL has demonstrated in orbit the most reliable Lithium-ion products currently available for the space market by accumulating over 15,000 cell years of space operation without failure.
ABSL has been active in the space industry since the 1960s during the early days of ion-thruster development. During the 1980s, ABSL was the largest non-US subcontractor to the United States Strategic Development Initiative (SDI). More recently, effort has been focused on its power and optical products, such as LIDAR and infrared calibration systems.
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