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With the successful mating of the payload and platform modules, another important milestone has been reached in the development of the SmallGEO Hispasat AG1 spacecraft.
The completion of this crucial step means that Bremen-based OHB can embark upon the next stage: the integrated satellite system and performance tests. These will be completed later this year and will be followed by environmental testing at IABG's facilities in Ottobrunn (DE).
SmallGEO is a small, general-purpose geostationary satellite platform that will give European industry the opportunity to play a significant role in the commercial telecom market.
It was developed through a public–private partnership, ESA’s new way of working with Europe’s Satcom industry.
ESA supports the necessary research and development activities through its Advanced Research In Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) programme, while industrial partner OHB finances a substantial part of the development costs.
“The mating marks for all of us, from both the Agency as well as industry, an important step forward where years of development will finally materialize in a complete spacecraft” said Andrea Cotellessa, Programme Manager for SmalllGEO at ESA.
SmallGEO’s first use is for the Hispasat Advanced Generation 1 satellite, scheduled for launch in 2015.
Hispasat AG1 will provide Spain, Portugal, the Canary Islands and the Americas with faster multimedia services through its reconfigurable Redsat payload, which offers better signal quality and flexible land coverage. Together with a traditional commercial payload using advanced Ka- and Ku-band transmitters, Redsat allows higher transmission speeds.
Hispasat will integrate Hispasat AG1 into its existing fleet of geostationary communications satellites.
OHB will be responsible for integrating the satellite, performing the testing in orbit and its early operations.
“Hispasat AG1 will contribute to the enhancement of European industry potential and growth in the satellite telecommunication market,” said ESA's Cotellessa.