Airbus and the Thales Alenia Space, Maxar Consortium Complete System Requirements Review for Telesat’s LEO Constellation

File photo from November 7, 2017. The first Telesat LEO prototype satellite is ready and at the Russian launch complex. Credit: SSL.

Telesat is one step closer in deciding who will build its LEO Satellite Constellation with both Airbus and the Thales Alenia Space, Maxar consortium having completed the System Requirements Review.

According to Telesat “each team is continuing to advance their detailed designs for the complete LEO system, both space and ground segments.”

Telesat is developing a low Earth orbit (LEO) constellation of satellites, 117 of which have been approved by the FCC, but the constellation could be expanded to 292 and can scale to as many 512.

When Telesat announced the selection of Airbus and the Thales Alenia Space, Maxar consortium they anticipated deciding by mid-2019 on which one of the bidders would be selected as the prime contractor.

In a press release Erwin Hudson, Vice President Telesat LEO said “Telesat has ambitious objectives for the performance of its LEO system and the innovative solutions both contractor teams recently presented give us high confidence that the cost and performance goals set for Telesat LEO can be achieved. Working with these two outstanding teams – Airbus and Thales Alenia Space-Maxar – not only reduces project risk but gives Telesat access to the latest space-based technologies from true industry leaders. Telesat continues to collaborate with both teams as they further the development of their designs and we look forward to selecting a prime contractor for the Telesat LEO program later this year.”

The press release further stated “it will offer an unsurpassed combination of capacity, speed, affordability, security and resiliency with latency that is equal to, or better than, the most advanced terrestrial networks. Able to serve the entire globe, Telesat LEO will help satisfy many of the world’s most challenging communications requirements such as accelerating 5G expansion, bridging the digital divide with fiber-like services into remote communities, and setting new levels of performance for commercial and government connectivity on land and in growing maritime and aeronautical broadband markets.”

In its own press release Airbus said “Airbus’ past cooperation with Telesat in communications satellites means it is keen to build on and deepen that partnership. Airbus is defining with Telesat, a LEO satellite constellation that will transform global communications by offering an unsurpassed combination of capacity, speed, security, resilience, low cost and low latency, comparable to, or better than, today’s terrestrial networks.”

Meanwhile Thales Alenia Space, Maxar consortium also issued a press release in which they said the “Thales Alenia Space / Maxar design for Telesat LEO is based on the combined companies’ proven experience, industrial capability and a strong supplier base for fully integrated communications satellite systems, including payload antenna design, on-board processing, optical inter-satellite links and LEO satellite production. The success of the SRR was the result of multiple work streams located in France, the U.S. and Canada working together to apply the consortium’s very best talent to every task.”

About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactive LLC. Boucher has 20+ years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 30 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.

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