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Saab Space to Supply Antennas for New Generation Direct-to-Mobile Satellites
Posted: 09-Mar-2007 [Source: SAAB]

[Boeing contracts with Saab Space to supply antennas for its MSV satellite system set for launch 2009 and 2010. The voice and data services of the system will be available initially throughout North America. ]

Stockholm, Sweden -- Saab Space in Gothenburg, Sweden, has received an order for hundreds of antenna elements to Boeing Space and Intelligence System's new, hi-profile Mobile Satellite Venture (MSV) system satellites.

"Our heritage as a successful supplier to Boeing's Thuraya and ICO satellite systems was of course an important element behind our successful bid", says the project manager, Dr Leif Kanderhag. "In those programs we elaborated a good balance between high performance and low cost", he adds.

MSV is the first generation system of mobile satellites that uses a combination of satellite capacity and terrestrial cell-phone capacity. The user will all the time be connected through the most efficient channel available depending on local coverage, using the same handset.

MSV is based on a patented technology called Ancilliary Terrestrial Component (ATC) that combines advantages of satellite and terrestrial technologies to a seamless mobile communication system. The voice and data services of the system will be available initially throughout North America including Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico and the Carribean basin by using the two first satellites MSV-1 and-2. For the future, development of full South American coverage is an optional possibility by adding a third satellite to the system.

Launches are planned for 2009 and 2010. The satellites will be among the largest and most powerful built with 11 kW of solar panel power and with a 22 meter unfurable L-band reflector antenna. The order now received is for 204 antenna radiating elements for the phased array feed of the very large reflectors for the first two satellites. These antennas elements build on design heritage from Thuraya and ICO mobile satellites. In contrast to the earlier projects, these elements have dual polarization. The elements need to cope with a combination of stringent performance requirements and requirements for low mass and low production cost due to the large numbers needed. These elements are to be integrated into the antenna system by our customer, Boeing, at its satellite manufacturing facility in El Segundo, California. The order also includes three antennas of two different types per satellite for Telemetry and Telecommand communication at Ku-band frequencies.

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