Alcatel Alenia Space has upheld its commitment to customer DGA (the French defense procurement agency), to deliver the initial operational capacity of the Syracuse 3A military communications satellite just a month after its launch.
Following orbital positioning in record time, all satellite in orbit tests kicked off on October 22, culminating in the orbital test review, which the satellite passed with flying colors.
Pascale Sourisse, President and CEO of Alcatel Alenia Space, was very proud of the satellite’s fast operational ramp-up. ‘We are particularly satisfied that we were able to meet our commitment, and allow the DGA to start using the Syracuse 3A prior to total deployment of the system. We knew that the DGA was very keen to deploy this capacity, and we did our utmost to meet the challenge of completing all positioning operations and in-orbit tests under very tight deadlines” .
‘We were able to meet this challenge thanks to an all-out effort by our technical staff, working closely with their counterparts from the DGA. Once again, we saw how this major European defense program is a rallying point to spur the motivation and commitment of everybody involved .’
Since November 10, the DGA now has access to two SHF channel, using the active antenna for global and regional coverage reception, while transmission is handled by a global horn and a regional passive antenna. This new communications capacity can already be used by troops in the field.
All in-orbit tests of the satellite were carried out by the France Sud military ground station at Bram, 80 kilometers from Toulouse. The satellite itself was controlled from the military operations center at Maisons-Laffitte near Paris.
The following stage, to last about a month, will involve system validation tests, leading to the system qualification review on December 13.
Along with the in-orbit validation of Syracuse 3A, integration of the Syracuse 3B satellite is proceeding nominally, and launch is slated for mid-2006.
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