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Saab Global

Saab Space to supply Antennas for new generation direct-to-mobile satellites

Saab Space in Gothenburg, Sweden, has received an order for hundreds of antenna elements to Boeing Space and Intelligence System’s new, hi-profile Mobile Satellite Venture (MSV) system satellites.


“Our heritage as a successful supplier to Boeing´s Thuraya and ICO satellite systems was of course an important element behind our successful bid”, says the project manager, Dr Leif Kanderhag. “In those programs we elaborated a good balance between high performance and low cost”, he adds.

MSV is the first generation system of mobile satellites that uses a combination of satellite capacity and terrestrial cell-phone capacity. The user will all the time be connected through the most efficient channel available depending on local coverage, using the same handset.

MSV is based on a patented technology called Ancilliary Terrestrial Component (ATC) that combines advantages of satellite and terrestrial technologies to a seamless mobile communication system. The voice and data services of the system will be available initially throughout North America including Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico and the Carribean basin by using the two first satellites MSV-1 and-2. For the future, development of full South American coverage is an optional possibility by adding a third satellite to the system.

Launches are planned for 2009 and 2010. The satellites will be among the largest and most powerful built with 11 kW of solar panel power and with a 22 meter unfurable L-band reflector antenna.

The order now received is for 204 antenna radiating elements for the phased array feed of the very large reflectors for the first two satellites. These antennas elements build on design heritage from Thuraya and ICO mobile satellites. In contrast to the earlier projects, these elements have dual polarization. The elements need to cope with a combination of stringent performance requirements and requirements for low mass and low production cost due to the large numbers needed. These elements are to be integrated into the antenna system by our customer, Boeing, at its satellite manufacturing facility in El Segundo, California. The order also includes three antennas of two different types per satellite for Telemetry and Telecommand communication at Ku-band frequencies.

Saab Space has 35 years of experience from building wide-coverage antennas and antenna elements. To date more than 350 wide coverage antennas and several thousand array antenna elements have been delivered to demanding customers worldwide.

Saab Space is an international, independent supplier of space equipment. The company’s main products are computers, microwave electronics and antennas for spacecraft and adapters and separation systems for launchers. The company has its headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden, a division located in Linköping, Sweden, and subsidiaries in Austria (Austrian Aerospace) and the USA (Saab Space USA LLC). Saab Space has approximately 510 employees. The company is since September 2006 a 100% subsidiary of the Saab Group.

Saab serves the global market with world-leading products, services and solutions ranging from military defence to civil security. Saab has operations and employees on all continents and constantly develops, adopts and improves new technology to meet customers’ changing needs.

For further information please contact:
Lars Nordfeldt, Director of Communications & Public Affairs
Tel: +46 (0)31-735 4312, Cellular: +46 (0)736-68 03 12, Fax: +46 (0)31-735 45 00