Madrid, December 14, 2016
– Thales Alenia Space Spain has delivered the second of three panels used to mount the Observation Data Communication Subsystem (ODCS) on GEOKOMPSAT-2 satellites being built by Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI).
GEO-KOMPSAT-2 (Geostationary Earth Orbit Korea Multi-Purpose Satellite) is a key South Korean space program that will provide vital meteorological, oceanic and environmental data for both government bodies and private end-users. The program comprises two satellites, GK2A and GK2B, each weighing around 3.5 tons, to be located at 128.2 º East longitude in geostationary orbit – 36,000 kilometers above the equator. The two satellites are scheduled for launch in 2018 and 2019.
A major export contract
Thales Alenia Space Spain was chosen as prime contractor for the communications payloads on these two satellites, the company’s largest export contract since being founded 28 years ago. This selection clearly reflects its competitiveness and successful growth strategy, rising up the value chain to a position as system integrator. Thales Alenia Space Spain leads a consortium of ten companies from seven countries on this program (South Korea, Japan, Canada, France, Belgium, Germany and Spain). The three panels being supplied for GK2A and GK2B, each measuring nearly 3 meters by 3 meters, are the largest panels integrated to date in Spain.
“Delivery of the second GK2A satellite panel to South Korea is a major program milestone,” noted Eduardo Bellido, CEO of Thales Alenia Space Spain. “We have faced significant challenges on this program, including the tight delivery schedules and having to manage subcontractors from seven countries on three continents. But the experience we have gained as prime on the GK2 communications payload will place us in an excellent position as new opportunities arise, including planned telecommunications programs in Spain.”
Meteorological, climate and ocean monitoring
The GK2A satellite will carry out meteorological and space environment monitoring, using two main instruments: AMI (Advanced Meteorological Imager) and KSEM (Korean Space Environment Monitor). Thales Alenia Space Spain has already integrated and tested the ODCS on two panels on this satellite provided by KARI, housing the subsystem that transmits to Earth the raw data from the instruments, as well as a communications payload comprising two repeaters, used to retransmit processed data to end-users. The second integrated panel was shipped to South Korea on December 1, 2016, to be assembled on the GK2A satellite.
The GK2B satellite is designed to monitor oceans and the Earth’s environment, also using two dedicated instruments: GOCI-II (Geostationary Ocean Colour Imager-II) and GEMS (Environmental Monitoring Spectrometer). Thales Alenia Space Spain is integrating one panel for this satellite, which will complete the ODCS subsystem.
About Thales Alenia Space Spain
Thales Alenia Space Spain is the country’s leading space company in export markets, with over 28 years of experience in the design, development and sale of advanced space systems and equipment. The company has contributed to more than 500 satellites, space probes and vehicles used in telecommunications, Earth observation, science, exploration, navigation and orbital infrastructure missions. Investing some 12% of sales in R&D, Thales Alenia Space Spain offers a wide range of solutions spanning the design and integration of payloads and subsystems for telecommunications, data transmission and TT&C (tracking, telemetry and command), optical observation instruments, radiofrequency equipment, data processing and digital electronics, and network management systems for the ground segment.
About Thales Alenia Space
Thales Alenia Space brings over 40 years of experience to the design, integration, testing and operation of innovative space systems for telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, environmental management, exploration, science and orbital infrastructures. A joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo-Finmeccanica (33%), Thales Alenia Space also teams up with Telespazio to form the parent companies’ “Space Alliance”, which offers a complete range of services and solutions. Thales Alenia Space has built up unrivaled expertise in dual (civil-military) missions, constellations, flexible high-throughput payloads, altimetry, meteorology, and high-resolution radar and optical observation, as well as space exploration. The company capitalizes on its strong legacy, while also making innovation a key to its strategy. By offering a continuous stream of new products and expanding its global footprint, Thales Alenia Space has established its leadership in today’s fast-evolving space sector. Thales Alenia Space posted consolidated revenues exceeding 2.1 billion euros in 2015 and has 7,500 employees in nine countries. www.thalesaleniaspace.com
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The Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) was established in 1989 as a national research institution so that the country can emerge as an aerospace powerhouse in the 21st century and play a central role in the aerospace area. Ever since its inception, KARI has achieved significant accomplishments, through the development of multi-purpose satellites, the launch of Korea’s 1st space vehicle ‘Naro’, the creation of the NARO Space Center, as well as the establishment of aviation technology through the Korean Helicopter Program and Smart UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle). In the future, KARI plans to build up indigenous capabilities to strengthen national safety and public service, industrialize satellite information and applications technology, explore the moon, and develop environmentally-friendly and highly-efficient cutting-edge aircraft and core aerospace technology so as to fulfill the aspirations and values that Korea holds toward space and beyond.