Thales Alenia Space España provides communications equipment for the cargo vehicles of the European Space Agency (ESA), NASA (USA) and JAXA (Japan), which are used to resupply the International Space Station (ISS). The company supplies the spread spectrum transponders to establish the TT&C (Tracking, Telemetry and Control) communications links via geostationary satellites (NASA's TDRSS network), as well as the spread spectrum transponders for the proximity links between the vehicles and the ISS, used during the rendezvous and docking operations. Thales Alenia Space España is the only European supplier qualified by NASA as TDRSS compatible, and one of the few worldwide.
ATV, Automated Transfer Vehicle
In addition to the spread spectrum transponders for the TDRSS and proximity links, Thales Alenia Space España provides the hermetic diplexers (TDRSS link) and the solar array deployment mechanism control electronics (SADE) for ESA’ ATV spacecraft.
Communications for future space vehicles
Thales Alenia Space España collaborates with ESA as responsible for defining the communication systems for future space vehicles. Currently, the company is involved in the ARV program, the Advanced Re-entry Vehicle, which will be capable to perform non-destructive re-entry in the atmosphere and return to Earth.
European Space Agency (ESA): ATV, cargo space vehicle. ARV, future atmospheric re-entry vehicle. CSTS, crew space transportation system, joint ESA and Roskosmos (Russian space agency) cooperation program.
JAXA (Japan): HTV, cargo space vehicle.
NASA (USA): Cygnus, cargo space vehicle (COTS program).