Thales Alenia Space Starts Manufacturing its Innovative Line of Telecom Satellites

Thales Alenia Space’s innovative new product line, Spacebus Neo, has now been put on track for qualification and manufacturing.

Thales initiated the development of its brand new telecom satellites product line with the aim to deliver the most attractive solution for geostationary satellites to meet operators' needs in the highly competitive worldwide SATCOM market. This product line is supported jointly by the European Space Agency’s (ESA) ARTES programme of Advanced Research in Telecommunication Systems, and France's space agency, CNES.

Already 4 flight models have been ordered by commercial and institutional Customers, with a first launch scheduled in 2019.Spacebus Neo full electrical platforms will embark on major innovations such as:

  • innovative thermal control and enhanced power subsystems
  • flexible and highly modular design
  • Customization for all payloads, including digital solutions and Very High Throughput Satellites (VHTS)

Following successful Critical Design Review, Spacebus Neo product line is now entering qualification phases and manufacturing process involving an industrial consortium all across Europe:

  • Spacebus Neo hardware (electronics, avionics, propulsion and thermo-structural units) have all started qualification sequence
  • XPS (Xenon Propulsion System) module is being assembled in Thales Alenia Space in UK, avionics module integrated in Thales Alenia Space in Cannes facilities and first payload module parts have been delivered to Thales Alenia Space in Toulouse facilities.

As part of ESA’s ARTES Neosat programme, Spacebus Neo is a prime example of an effective partnership between European Industry and ESA/CNES Space Agency teams promoting innovation at all levels of the value chain, and resulting in a first class product capable of competing in this challenging and ever-changing market.

Since decades Spacebus product line has been a great success, with continuous support from CNES both for commercial missions and dual or military missions. The Spacebus Neo new generation includes the full electric capability which enables increased capacities at lower costs. This program funded by CNES, PIA (Plan d’Investissement d’Avenir) and ESA will be flight in the coming years by major commercial operators and French defense.