The Small Geostationary Satellite initiative is aimed at the development of a general-purpose small geostationary satellite platform which will enable European industry to compete effectively in the commercial telecom market for small platforms.
ESA focuses its support on R&D activities, while the industrial partners finance a substantial part of the development costs and bear the risks associated to the launch and further exploitation.
Small range telecommunication Platformâ€¨
With a general purpose Small Geostationary Satellite Platform, European industry will enlarge their position in the commercial telecommunication platform market, expanding the current range of available products. This new modular and flexible platform will be used for communication satellites up to 3 kW payload power and will take benefit from the compatibility with many commercial launchers.
Small Geo Sat Initiative covers the development and qualification of a first model of a product line:
• Satellite wet mass: 3.2 T for Geostationary Transfer Orbit,
• Life Time: 15 Years,
• Payload power: up to 3kW,
• Payload mass: up to 300 kg.
The Small Geo Platform will be able to accommodate a wide range of commercial payload and missions including; TV broadcast, multimedia applications, Internet access, as well as mobile or fixed services in a wide range of frequency bands. Furthermore, Data Relay mission as well as other institutional mission can be targeted.
An European industrial product for an exemplary Co-operationâ€¨
This ESA programme, strongly supported by DLR, the German Space Agency, was approved by the ESA Member States at the ministerial Council meeting in Berlin in December 2005.
An Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems [ARTES] 1 study was then launched resulting on a preliminary baseline developed by OHB-System AG, Germany.
For this Small Geostationary Satellite Initiative, ESA established a new element in its Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) Programme known as ARTES 11. ARTES 11 composed of two sub-elements.
• The sub element 1 concerns the development and first flight model manufacturing of a generic bus.
• The sub element 2 of the Small Geostationary Initiative is the development, manufacturing and launch of a first Satellite mission. This will provide flight heritage and in orbit demonstration for the platform.
Small Geo Platform Initiative is a unique combined project with Teaming Agreement between OHB [Germany] with a prime contractor role and OHB Sweden [Sweden], RUAG Space Switzerland, [Switzerland] and Luxspace [Luxembourg] as prime level subcontractors and partners.
A novel financial schemeâ€¨
The Small Geo Platform project comprises a Phase B of development, for around 13 million and C/D implementation phases, for an additional 118 million, have been agreed between ESA and the Industrial Team. In accordance with the ARTES rules the industrial team have been asked to considerably contribute to the project implementation expenses. This contribution is in the order of 40% of the total development cost while the first flight model delivery is fully funded by ESA.