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AVIONEWS visits the Thales Alenia Space plant

In view of the put in orbit of the last 4 O3b satellite -VIDEO

Preparations are underway for the Rome plants of Thales Alenia Space (TAS) in view of March 26, 2019, the date when the Soyuz will carry the last 4 satellites of the O3b constellation into Medium Earth Orbit, where it will guarantee telecommunications in the Earth zone between the two tropics, where infrastructure is lacking or absent. An important success for the company (JV between Thales at 67% and Leonardo at 33%) that -as explained by the CEO of Thales Alenia Space Italy Donato Amoroso- has in "telecommunications the key sector of the company, which occupies the majority of annual orders". In addition, TAS also works in the development, design and construction of satellites "for defense, for monitoring the Earth's climate and for space exploration, both for satellites and for landers and rovers included in European Space Agency (ESA) programs", explained Amoroso.

Stewart Sanders, Executive Vice President of SES, explained the added value of the O3b constellation compared to the competitors, because "not being geostationary it allows to connect a major part of the world at a lower cost, being a smaller number of satellites that can also be less powerful". The current objective is to provide high-speed telecommunications services (similar to optical fiber) to as many customers as possible, even if the supply is not direct but passes through a terrestrial gateway which, by cable, distributes the line to the control units for allow direct connection to the network. "This -explains Sanders- allows you to bring internet anywhere and does not only mean Facebook, Twitter or Netflix, but also and above all fast and reliable connections to infrastructures, hospitals and government centers".

Seeing closely 3 of the 4 O3b satellites -located at the assembly site where they are completed, tested and integrated all the TAS satellites- that will be sent to about 9,000 km from the Earth, it will be possible to understand how this task will be carried out, because on the upper side of the structure, which has inside all the electronic and mechanical systems that allow its operation and exact positioning, there are 12 antennas that act both as a transmitter and as a receiver, and the movement of each of these is released from the other, thus ensuring a broad coverage of the area. In addition, the satellites are built on "sarcophagi" standardized for the O3b in such a way as to minimize production times and costs, so as to put them in orbit with a certain regularity even if -for the moment- these will be the last ones from the moment that the constellation will be completed.

Below, the video of the visit:

M/A - 1217046

AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency