We develop and produce travelling wave tubes for satellites and we are the competence center for space components and subsystems
Technologies from Thales are responsible for dependable reception of television, radio and Internet. Communication from space – with products and solutions produced by the global market leader.
Tube technology for today and tomorrow
Through its high quality components for use on board of satellites for telecommunications and multimedia applications as well as in radar systems or air-frames, Thales has earned the trust of renowned customers and achieved market leadership in this area. As of today, we have produced more than 13,000 travelling wave tubes for space applications. The total operating time of the tubes in this harsh environment is more than 600 million hours. The system solutions are produced at our factory in Ulm. Travelling wave tubes from Thales are used on board most of today’s news, television and earth surveillance as well as scientific satellites. In addition, our other highlights in the scientific field include high performance klystrons for fusion reactors and particle accelerators as well as signal sources and image processing systems for radiology applications. For these applications, the division has the advantage of being able to draw upon other proven technologies and products the group has produced. Thales is also a partner in the European Galileo navigation satellite programme, and is involved in associated security-relevant applications, tests and validations.
Leading-edge drive technology for satellites
In the field of electrical drives for satellites Thales Germany is developing an electric thruster system named HEMP together with the German national aeronautics and space research centre (DLR). The system is being planned, produced and qualified at the Thales competence centre for satellite components in Ulm. HEMP is an electric thruster system and stands for high-efficiency multi-stage plasma. Going forward, the thruster is intended for attitude control of the Small-GEO-1 satellite from OHB, and is being produced within the framework of the ARTES11 programme of the European Space Agency (ESA).The new kind of HEMP thrusters are more effective and lighter, and are therefore more economical than thrusters that have been in use until now. The low complexity and the compact and reliable construction of the HEMP thrusters as well as the fuel savings achieved with it translate into significant cost savings compared to conventional drive systems.