Kongsberg Norspace wins order for new generation command receiver
Horten, Norway – Kongsberg Norspace AS® has signed a contract with Airbus Defence and Space for delivery of two Command Receivers for the SES-10 satellite. This is Kongsberg Norspace’s first commercial order for the new generation frequency agile (“Flex”) Command Receiver that can be commanded in-orbit to operate over a wide frequency range. In addition to the frequency agility, the new Command Receiver offers significant performance improvements over the first generation product, which Kongsberg Norspace has manufactured and sold under a license since 2006. The Intellectual Property of the new product is fully owned by Kongsberg Norspace.
The order comes less than two years after Kongsberg Norspace started the development of the new generation Command Receiver under an ARTES contract with the European Space Agency (ESA). Kongsberg Norspace is already building flight units using the new generation design, but without the frequency agility, for another customer. These units will operate at Ka-band (28 GHz), while the SES-10 units will operate at Ku-band (14 GHz).
Allowing shift of the operating frequency while the satellite is in orbit offers satellite manufacturers and operators important flexibility such as allowing design and manufacturing of more “generic” satellites, and moving the satellite between different orbital positions. For satellites using all-electric propulsion with a long orbit raising time, the frequency agility can be particularly valuable. Interference problems in orbit can also be eliminated or significantly reduced.
Commenting on the contract award, Kongsberg Norspace’s CEO Sverre Bisgaard said, “We are very pleased and proud of the trust Airbus and SES - two of the most prominent actors in the commercial satellite industry - have shown us by placing this order. The ongoing development and qualification, and the ongoing manufacturing of flight units, which are progressing as planned, have probably been major contributors to win this contract. It shows our customers that we do what we say. Moreover, honestly, the interest the new product has received in the market has almost overwhelmed us. The features offered by the new product seems to be a timely response to new needs from satellite operators.”