PARIS---The Astra 1K communications satellite left Alcatel Space's Cannes plant during the night of October 24-25 for shipment to the Baikonur launch base in Kazakhstan. It was built for European operator SES Astra, a subsidiary of SES Global. The launch is scheduled for end of November, on a Proton rocket.
Astra 1K is not only the largest satellite ever built by Alcatel Space, but also the largest civil communications satellite in the world. It will be performing three very demanding missions for SES Astra. Because of its huge size, Astra 1K will replace three Astra satellites now in orbit, and will also be an in-orbit spare for four others. At the same time, this satellite provides multi-mission flexibility, including Ku-band frequency reuse, and Ka-band multimedia services. It offers pan-European coverage, extending from Spain and Portugal to the rest of continental Europe.
Based on the Spacebus 4000 platform, Astra 1K is equipped with 52 Ku-band and 2 Ka-band transponders, and will be positioned at 19.2 degrees East. It sets a number of records for a civil communications satellite: 5,250 kilograms at liftoff; 13 kW end-of-life power; total span 37 meters; height 6.6 meters; 10 different antenna reflectors. In short, Astra 1K is a powerful, versatile and highly reliable spacecraft, featuring highly accurate pointing and a long lifespan.
Astra 1K reflects Alcatel Space's leadership in innovative onboard technologies:
--Significant increase in platform size; --Plasma propulsion; --Ultra-light reflectors with dual deployment; --6-panel solar array delivering 13 kW of power at end-of-life.
It is the first satellite delivered by Alcatel Space to SES Astra. Other satellites are being built by Alcatel Space as prime contractor for SES Global
--3 under construction (AMC 9, AMC 12, AMC 13) --1 under study for the Asia-Pacific region (AMC 23).
Alcatel Space is n°3 in the world and Europe's leading satellite manufacturer. Leveraging its dual expertise in civil and military applications, Alcatel Space develops satellite technology solutions for telecommunications, navigation, optical and radar observation, meteorology, and scientific applications. The company is also Europe's number one prime contractor for Earth observation, meteorology and navigation ground segments, as well as space systems operations. A fully-owned subsidiary of Alcatel (100%), Alcatel Space generated 2001 revenues of 1.4 billion Euros.
Alcatel designs, develops and builds innovative and competitive communications networks, enabling carriers, service providers and enterprises to deliver any type of content, such as voice, data and multimedia, to any type of consumer, anywhere in the world. Relying on its leading and comprehensive products and solutions portfolio, stretching from end-to-end optical infrastructures, fixed and mobile networks to broadband access, Alcatel's customers can focus on optimizing their service offerings and revenue streams. With sales of Euro 25 billion in 2001, Alcatel operates in more than 130 countries.