Thales Alenia Space Wins Arsat 2 Payload Contract

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PARIS — Satellite operator Arsat of Argentina has selected Thales Alenia Space to provide the electronics payload for an Arsat 2 telecommunications satellite to be launched into Argentina’s 81 degrees west orbital slot in 2013, Thales Alenia Space announced Dec. 15.

Arsat 2, if it keeps to its aggressive schedule, will be in orbit one year later than Arsat 1, for which Cannes, France-based Thales Alenia Space is building the payload. Astrium Satellites of Europe is providing many of the platform subsystems for Arsat 1 and the solar arrays for Arsat 2.

Arsat 1, to be launched either as a co-passenger on a heavy-lift European Ariane 5 rocket or as solo passenger aboard a Europeanized Russian Soyuz vehicle, will be stationed at 72 degrees west, where it will replace the Nahuel-1 satellite launched in 1997.

Arsat 2 will carry four C-band and 16 Ku-band transponders, compared with 24 Ku-band transponders for Arsat 1. It will be capable of providing 3.4 kilowatts of power to its payload. Invap of Argentina, which has experience in building small Earth observation satellites, will be the Arsat 2 prime contractor.

Arsat, which leases capacity on Intelsat, SES and Telesat satellites over the region, has said one of its principal goals is to retain the regulatory rights to the orbital slots at 81 and 72 degrees.