SmallGEO successfully passes mechanical tests

The Hispasat AG1 undergoing tests in the IABG clean room. Credit: ESA/S. CorvajaThe Hispasat AG1 satellite, based on the new SmallGEO Platform developed by OHB System with the support of ESA, has successfully completed the first step of the environmental test campaign.

The spacecraft in a fully representative flight configuration has been exposed to a combination of sine vibrations and acoustic noise mechanical loads to demonstrate with the required margins that it will be able to handle safely the stresses it will experience during its ride towards its orbital destination on the Ariane 5 launcher.

This test follows the successful completion of the previous satellite test phase, with checks on the electrical performance of the platform and the payload, the integration of the solar arrays and deployable reflectors, and the loading of fuel in the propellant tanks.

“The Hispasat AG1 mechanical tests were prepared and executed brilliantly,” comments Andrea Cotellessa, SmallGEO Programme Manager at ESA. ”The cooperation between the different parties – ESA, Hispasat, OHB, IABG and Arianespace – has been remarkable and contributed to maintaining a very tight workplan. It’s a key moment for the SmallGEO programme that lifts OHB System to the elite club of aerospace companies with geostationary telecommunication platform capabilities. We feel now even more motivated to move on to ready the satellite for launch.”

The Hispasat AG1 team will continue its ground test programme to complete the design and performance verification prior to the shipment to the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, for the launch campaign.

AG1 is the first satellite to use Europe’s new SmallGEO platform, developed through a public–private partnership between ESA and OHB. SmallGEO will strengthen the position of European industry in the commercial telecommunications market, expanding the current range of available products.

Published 13 January 2016
Last updated at 15 January 2016 - 05:53