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The strategic and commercial objective for Norspace in this program, is part of a long term strategy of entering the market for standard products that are used on “all” commercial communications satellites including bent pipe satellites. Traditionally, Norspace has delivered equipment mainly to mobile and DAB satellites. A standard product will give a more stable industrial workload. Norspace regarded the communication section of the Telemetry, Tracking & Command (TT&C) function of the satellites as good candidate product to fulfil this strategy, i.e. the Command Receiver (Rx) and the Telemetry Transmitter/Beacon (Tx/Bx). This opportunity opened also as Norspace got the license to manufacture and further develop the Command Receiver and the Telemetry Transmitter/Beacon products in relation to the merger of Alcatel Space (Thales) and Alenia Spazio.
The clear ambition for Norspace is to become a leading supplier of these products to the world market.
With the TTC program, Norspace has designed and developed three different EQMs within the TTC family; the Command Receiver, the telemetry transmitter and a beacon transmitter. In addition a 31dBm Ku-band output module was qualified. Through this Norspace has established these products as a part of their product portfolio.
The successful qualification program for the EQM units and the successful verification through analysis and related technology verification programs represents an important milestone for Norspace’s ability to deliver space-qualified units to the satcom market.
All in all, the outcome of this program has been very useful for Norspace, and shows excellent use of ESA funding.
In the program, three different EQMs have been developed and qualified through qualification campaigns. The qualifications have also been supported through normal space product analysis as well as verification programs for the technologies involved. The program also included the qualification of a 31dBm output module
Figure 1. Ku-band Telemetry Transmitter EQM
Figure 2. C-band Beacon Transmitter (Flight Models Shown)
Figure 3. Ku-band Command Receiver (Flight Model Shown)
Figure 4. Ku-band Output Module EQM
The program is now completed.
For each of the units the following development plan has been used:
BDR – Baseline Design Review
MTR – Mid term Review
TRR – Test Readiness Review
The key issue for the program was to design, develop and qualify (at EQM level) a Command Receiver, a Beacon Transmitter, a Telemetry Transmitter. In addition, a 31dBm Ku-band output module was qualified in the program
In the program, different approaches have been used for the different equipments. For the Command Receiver, a development of an exact copy of the Thales (TAS) design was selected. This implied that all details from the product definition files from Thales were re-created in the Norspace product designer tools. Similarly, all designs were reviewed and independent analyses for product assurance were made. This approach was selected to take advantage of the flight heritage of the design.
For the Beacon and the Telemetry Transmitter, a different approach was used. Here complete redesign of the units was selected. That is, the equipments are designed and developed based on Norspace designs and build technologies. Design elements from the licence agreement were only used where found applicable.
The 31dBm Ku-Band Output module is a Norspace design that was developed within the Artes-11 program Small Geo and then qualified as part of this program.
The program is now successfully completed.