Satellites

ISRO signs contract with EADS Astrium

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BANGALORE: Europe's satellite system specialist EADS Astrium and Antrix, the commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), today formally signed a contract to provide a communication satellite for the international market.

The aim of the alliance between EADS Astrium and Antrix/Isro is to jointly offer communications satellites in the market segment around 4kW of payload power and with a launch mass of 2 to 3 tons.

This cooperation combining Indian platforms along with European payloads is designed to offer optimal, flexible and cost effective solutions to telecommunications operators, states an official release.

As already reported by indiantelevision.com, the alliance has been awarded the W2M satellite contract by Eutelsat Communications. This is a breakthrough for the partnership between the European and Indian space technology organisations, which together have won their first commercial export contract, the release adds.

Under the W2M contract, EADS Astrium is prime contractor in charge of overall programme management and will build the communications payload. ANTRIX/ISRO will build the satellite bus, based on the flight proven I-3K model, integrate and test the spacecraft. ISRO will also be in charge of early in-orbit operations.

W2M will be delivered to Eutelsat in 26 months for launch in the second quarter of 2008.

W2M will operate typically 26 transponders in Ku-band and up to 32 depending on operational modes, for a designed operational lifetime of 15 years. W2M displays great flexibility to operate a wide range of services from television broadcasting to data networks and broadband. It will have fixed beam coverage for Europe, North Africa and Middle East and a steerable beam which can be re-oriented in orbit according to market requirements, notably towards Africa and central Asia.

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