With the arrival of the repeater module at OHB facilities in Bremen, the payload of the Hispasat Advanced Generation 1 satellite can now be mated with the satellite platform, SmallGEO, developed by OHB. This marks an important stage in the deployment of SmallGEO, the general-purpose small geostationary satellite platform that should give European industry the opportunity to play a significant role in the commercial satellite communications market.
Before arriving in Bremen, the repeater module underwent several months of intensive testing at TESAT's facilities. The results confirmed the outstanding performance of the Ku- and Ka-band repeaters designed by TESAT. The Ku-band repeaters also feature the new-generation regenerative on-board processor units (DVB-RCS/DVB-S2), designed and manufactured by Thales Alenia Space. The repeater module was also tested with the direct radiating array ELSA antenna designed and manufactured by CASA, which permits the generation and control of four receiving spot beams in the Ku-band.
The AG1 repeater includes a number of advanced technologies, such as the digitally controlled microwave power module (MPM) which allows the output power range of the appropriate traveling-wave tube to be adjusted in a range of ~4 dB with a minimum reduction of efficiency. An innovative payload interface unit provides the electrical interfaces for controlling the MPMs of the Ka- and Ku-band repeater via TM/TC lines. The modular and redundant master/slave architecture is designed to control up to 40 MPMs via the CAN-Bus protocol.
Also part of the repeater are low-noise amplifiers and down-converters for Ku- and Ka-bands from Mier Communicaciones that were developed within the framework of the AG1 program.
After the repeater module has been mated with the SmallGEO platform the satellite will be subjected to extensive environmental testing in preparation for its launch, anticipated to take place in the first quarter of 2015. The AG1 will join Hispasat’s existing fleet of communications satellites, serving South America and the Azores.
“This is an important milestone for the project,” commented Eric Villette, SmallGEO Hispasat AG1 Mission Manager. “The advanced technologies deployed in the various elements of the transponders have delivered the anticipated results. We have worked with a great level of synergy with Hispasat and TESAT/OHB, preparing the conditions for a successful completion of the spacecraft ground test programme later on”.