European Space Agency

Announcement ITT: Equipments for Alphabus phase C/D: Electric Propulsion Pointing Mechanism


The Alcatel Space / EADS Astrium Joint Alphabus Project Team in its role as system
responsible for Alphabus is in the process of issuing a competitive Invitation to Tender for
the following activity: Electric Propulsion Pointing Mechanism.

The ITT will address the electric propulsion pointing mechanism needed for Alphabus and include the following elements:

- Development and qualification for the Alphabus product line,
- Procurement of a protoflight model set and
- Long-term agreements for the Alphabus commercial phase

The selected bidder will become part of the industrial consortium for the Alphabus phase C/D and subsequent contracts related to the production of Alphabus based Telecommunication satellites.

Companies interested in bidding for the above mentioned activity should declare their interest by 24 th September 2004 to:

Mr Frédéric Juchet
Contracts Officer Alcatel Space
Telephone: + 33 4 92 28 91 76
Telefax: + 33 4 92 92 30 30

Copies of this declaration of interest should be sent in parallel to:

Mr. W. Engels
Contract Officer ESA
Telephone: + 33 5 61 28 19 04
Telefax: + 33 5 61 28 28 66

Annex: Equipment Summary Description

Electric Propulsion Pointing Mechanism

Main characteristics:
The equipment shall hold two PPS 1350 or two SPT100 thrusters and some parts (total mass 11.2 kgs). It shall allow orientating the thrusters into two perpendicular directions. The orientation range shall cover a cone around canonic direction of 10º (halfcone). The mechanism shall be locked in the neutral mid-position during launch by a locking device to be released after launch; this element is part of the mechanism. The mechanism's orientation range shall be limited mechanically and include position measurement. The total mass of the mechanism shall be less than 12 kg (tbc).

Purpose of the ITT:
This activity is to develop the electric propulsion pointing mechanism with the above characteristics. The development will include the design, manufacturing and formal qualification programme. It is expected that the major technical challenges will be:
-To develop and qualify a thruster orientation mechanism
-To demonstrate reliability ( 15 years in flight )
-To demonstrate environmental ( mechanical and thermal) resistance capacity

The hardware to be delivered is anticipated to comprise:
-a set of two flight units for the Alphabus Proto-Flight Model.

Note: A second ITT will be issued in the near future for the development and qualification of the orientation mechanism for the heavier high-power electric propulsion thruster selected for high-power Alphabus satellites.

Event Date

15 September 2004
Published 15 September 2004
Last updated at 15 September 2004 - 00:00