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(14 December 2020 – Intellian) Intellian has announced that it will be starting production of a wide range of dedicated user terminals for the global low-earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications provider OneWeb, ready for delivery in 2021 and beyond.

Intellian’s OneWeb user terminals installed at OneWeb HQ, London (courtesy: Intellian)

OneWeb is focused on scaling its satellite constellation to begin commercial services starting at the end of next year. Coverage will extend to the UK, Alaska, Canada, Northern Europe, Greenland, Iceland, and the Arctic Seas.

Intellian announced its partnership with OneWeb to build terminals for both the fixed enterprise and maritime markets in 2019 and OneWeb’s keenly-awaited revival has enabled the two organisations to recommence their partnership.

Intellian’s agreement with OneWeb encompasses the production of a wide range of dedicated OneWeb user terminal types with a variety of antenna sizes. These terminals are designed to facilitate services and suit customer’s application requirements across various sectors, including cellular backhaul, enterprise, rural broadband, telecommunications, telemedecine, schools, hospitals, agriculture, mining, government and maritime, including merchant shipping, oil and gas exploration, leisure and fishing. In addition, this partnership will allow current Intellian customers to utilise existing Intellian NX series terminals by incorporating an option to upgrade them to operate on OneWeb’s LEO constellation in the future.

Michele Franci, Chief of Delivery and Operations, OneWeb, commented: “We are delighted to recommence our production agreement with Intellian. Together we will fulfil the needs of our customers, who are looking for an improved global service with high-speed, low latency and a terminal that will deliver all this with simple installation. OneWeb addresses a range of different markets, which carry their own specific service and user terminal requirements. Our partnership with Intellian allows us to develop a family of user terminals that will meet these varied market and customer needs.”

With multiple product variants designed and extensive testing complete, Intellian is well placed to rapidly deliver a comprehensive range of terminals for the OneWeb constellation. Eric Sung, President and CEO, Intellian, said: “We are excited to deploy Intellian’s industry leading LEO technology into this user terminal development to enable customers to harness OneWeb’s fascinating network capabilities. Testing has shown excellent results and we are fast approaching this technology becoming a reality for users across many market sectors. The OneWeb constellation is a significant development for the industry and for potential users, and is perfectly aligned with our stated commitment of empowering connectivity: through our partnership, our terminals will bring customers high-bandwidth, low-latency data on an unprecedented global scale.”

OneWeb is rapidly moving forward with building its network, and will launch 36 satellites from the Vostochny spaceport in Siberia in December this year, joining the 74 already in orbit. Initially planned at 648 satellites operating on the Ku-band, the OneWeb constellation has the potential and priority bandwidth allocation to expand many times beyond that size.

About Intellian Technologies

Intellian is a leading global technology and solutions provider for satellite communications, empowering connectivity for the maritime, government, military, energy, cruise and enterprise sectors. Founded in 2004, Intellian is renowned for its innovative design, future-proofed technologies and outstanding customer support, which combined with continued investment in its partners, logistics network, quality control and low environmental impact production facilities make it a trusted enabler within the satellite communications industry. Its bold, pioneering solutions include the award-winning v240MT – the world’s first tri-band, multi-orbit antenna system – and the future-proof NX series antennas, optimized for high performance and low cost of ownership.

Intellian has a worldwide presence with over 400 employees, 10 global offices and five logistics centers on three continents. Intellian Technologies Inc. is listed on the Korean Stock Exchange, KOSDAQ (189300:KS).

About OneWeb

OneWeb is a global communications network powered from space, headquartered in London, enabling connectivity for governments, businesses, and communities. It is implementing a constellation of Low Earth Orbit satellites with a network of global gateway stations and a range of user terminals to provide an affordable, fast, high-bandwidth and low-latency communications service, connected to the IoT future and a pathway to 5G for everyone, everywhere.

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Northrop Grumman completes validation test of new rocket motor for United Launch Alliance

Northrop Grumman completes validation test of new rocket motor for

(21 January 2021 – Northrop Grumman) Northrop Grumman conducted a validation ground test of an extended length 63-inch-diameter Graphite Epoxy Motor (GEM 63XL) today in Promontory.

This variation of the company’s GEM 63 strap-on booster was developed in partnership with United Launch Alliance (ULA) to provide additional lift capability to the Vulcan Centaur rocket.

Northrop Grumman conducted a validation test of its GEM 63XL rocket motor on Jan. 21 at its Promontory, Utah, facility. The GEM 63XL will support the United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan Centaur launch vehicle. (courtesy: Northrop Grumman)

“This new motor optimizes our best-in-class technologies and leverages flight-proven solid rocket propulsion designs to provide our customers with the most reliable product,” said Charlie Precourt, vice president, propulsion systems, Northrop Grumman. “Evolving the original GEM 63 design utilizes our decades of GEM strap-on booster expertise while enhancing capabilities for heavy-lift missions.”

During today’s static test, the motor fired for approximately 90 seconds, producing nearly 449,000 pounds of thrust to validate the performance capability of the motor design. Additionally, this firing verified the motor’s internal insulation, propellant grain, ballistics and nozzle in a hot-conditioned environment.

Northrop Grumman has supplied rocket propulsion to ULA and its heritage companies for a variety of launch vehicles since 1964. The GEM family of strap-on motors was developed starting in the early 1980s with the GEM 40 to support the Delta II launch vehicle. The company then followed with the GEM 46 for the Delta II Heavy, and the GEM 60, which flew 86 motors over 26 Delta IV launches before retiring in 2019. The first GEM 63 motors supported ULA’s Atlas V rocket in November 2020.

Northrop Grumman solves the toughest problems in space, aeronautics, defense and cyberspace to meet the ever evolving needs of our customers worldwide. Our 90,000 employees define possible every day using science, technology and engineering to create and deliver advanced systems, products and services.

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SSC and Airbus Defence and Space Netherlands to collaborate in optical communication

SSC and Airbus Defence and Space Netherlands to collaborate in

(21 January 2021 – SSC) SSC and Airbus Defence and Space Netherlands (Airbus DS NL) have signed an MOU for collaborative activities regarding ground equipment for space-to-ground optical communication.

The agreement will accelerate the development of commercially viable optical ground stations that will be offered by Airbus DS NL and used by SSC in delivering ground network services.

One of the collaborative activities in developing this capability includes optical communication tests against the CubeLCT optical terminal on the Photo Images Cross Laser (PIXL-1) Mission, organised in close co-operation with project partner TESAT. PIXL-1 will be launched the 22nd of January.

“Airbus Netherlands will be an important partner as SSC continues to add optical communication solutions to our global network of ground stations. Their modern infrastructure and industry-leading knowledge will be a vital contribution to our service offering”, says Stefan Gardefjord, CEO at SSC.

Optical communication between ground stations and satellites in orbit enables broadband connectivity via space, providing a secure and efficient solution for the fast-growing worldwide demand for data.

“Optical communication will be a game changer in this era in which we increasingly share data. We have a strong desire to work with Swedish Space Corporation to further build up our capabilities for optical ground stations, as they have been at the forefront of ground stations services for decades”, says Maarten Schippers, CEO at Airbus Defence and Space Netherlands.

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ESA books two payload missions on Airbus Bartolomeo platform

ESA books two payload missions on Airbus Bartolomeo platform

(21 January 2021 – Airbus) The European Space Agency (ESA) and Airbus have agreed on service orders for two independent payload missions to be launched to the Bartolomeo payload hosting facility on the International Space Station (ISS) in 2022 and 2024, respectively.

The European Space Agency (ESA) and Airbus have agreed on service orders for two independent payload missions to be launched to the Bartolomeo payload hosting facility on the International Space Station (ISS) in 2022 and 2024, respectively. (courtesy: Airbus)

The first payload mission is ESA’s Exobiology Platform (EXPO). This facility carries a set of radiation experiments aimed at better understanding the evolution of organic molecules and organisms in the space. Placed in a Zenith-facing slot, the facility will connect two scientific modules to Bartolomeo. These modules will host everything needed for the experiments, including the scientific sample containers, fluidics systems and sensors related to the individual experiments called Exocube, IceCold and OREOcube. At the end of the three-year mission, the samples will be returned to Earth for detailed investigation and analysis.

The second payload is the Euro Material Ageing experiment platform (SESAME), developed by the French Space Agency (CNES). This mission will study the ageing behaviour of new materials in space and will also make use of Bartolomeo’s payload return option. After a year of exposure in space, the experiments will be returned to Earth, allowing scientists to thoroughly investigate the samples and fully understand the effects of the space environment on the materials.

These service orders, amounting to € 6.5 million, are the first under a new framework agreement which ESA and Airbus have put in place, pre-defining the overall commercial conditions for ESA payload missions on Bartolomeo.

“With this framework contract, we are making it significantly easier for ESA to use the Bartolomeo Service for quick and affordable use of the ISS,” said David Parker, ESA Director of Human and Robotic Exploration. “Commercial arrangements have been streamlined, which enables our researchers to enjoy the full benefits of Bartolomeo’s short lead times and high flexibility. We are very pleased to have the first two ESA payloads secured on the platform, and are looking forward to using this new European asset on the ISS.”

Andreas Hammer, Head of Space Exploration at Airbus, said: “We are looking forward to working with our partners at ESA on bringing these two and future payloads to space – and back again as needed. The strong interest from across ESA and other institutions as well as a number of commercial players confirms the need for our efficient and affordable payload hosting solutions in LEO.”

Airbus’ Bartolomeo platform was launched and robotically attached to the ISS Columbus Module in 2020. Following the final connection of the cabling during an Extravehicular Activity (EVA), or ‘spacewalk’, in early 2021, the platform will be ready for in-space commissioning.

Bartolomeo is an Airbus investment into the ISS infrastructure, enabling hosting of up to twelve external payloads in the space environment, providing unique opportunities for in-orbit demonstration and verification missions. It is operated in a partnership between Airbus, ESA, NASA and the ISS National Laboratory.

Bartolomeo is suitable for many types of missions, including Earth observation, environmental and climate research, robotics, material sciences and astrophysics. It provides sought-after payload-hosting capabilities for customers and researchers to test space technologies, verify a new space business approach, conduct scientific experiments in microgravity or enter into in-space manufacturing endeavours.

Launch opportunities are available on every servicing mission to the ISS, which occur about every three months. The payload accommodation allows slots for a wide range of payload mass, from 5 to 450 kg. As an evolution of the platform, Airbus will provide optical data downlink capacity of one to two terabytes per day.

Payloads can be prepared and ready to operate within one and a half years after contract signature. Payload sizes, interfaces, preparation before launch and integration processes are largely standardised. This reduces lead times and significantly reduces costs compared to traditional mission costs.

Airbus offers this easy access to space as an all-in-one mission service. This includes technical support in preparing the payload mission; launch and installation; operations and data transfer; and an optional return to Earth.

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