SmallGEO is a general-purpose geostationary satellite platform that is giving European industry the opportunity to play a significant role in the commercial market for telecom satellites in the three-tonne launch mass range.
The platform is developed through a public-private partnership. ESA is focusing its support on research and development activities through the ARTES SmallGEO element while industrial partners finance a substantial part of the development costs.
The SmallGEO platform has been developed by an industrial team managed by OHB System AG that includes OHB subsidiaries LuxSpace and OHB Sweden (formerly Swedish Space Corporation).
This core team will also commercialise the platform.
First mission: Hispasat H36W-1
SmallGEO's first flight opportunity is for Hispasat’s H36W-1, which is the first telecom satellite to be developed, integrated and tested in Germany for more than a quarter of a century. It was launched on 27 January 2017 from the European Spaceport at Kourou .
Hispasat H36W-1 will provide Spain, Portugal, the Canary Islands and the South America with faster multimedia services through its reconfigurable Redsat payload, which offers better signal quality and flexible land coverage. Together with a traditional commercial payload using advanced Ka- and Ku-band transmitters, Redsat allows higher transmission speeds.
Hispasat will integrate H36W-1 into its existing fleet of geostationary communications satellites. OHB will be responsible for integrating the satellite, performing the testing in orbit and putting the satellite into early operations.
Second mission: EDRS-C
The second flight of the SmallGEO platform will be the EDRS-C mission. Airbus Defense & Space and Avanti are the prime contractors for this spacecraft, which is due to launch in 3Q 2017. EDRS-C will be the second node in the European Data Relay System (EDRS), the space datahighway.
SmallGEO extension contract
An extension contract now underway will optimise the SmallGEO platform for a variety of commercial satellite services. By expanding SmallGEO’s capabilities, the costs of the platform as well as the production time will be reduced to increase its commercial attractiveness.