Joint French-Italian Military Satellite Arrived at Launch Base in French Guiana

Europe Military CNES ASI

Athena-Fidus Satellite. Photo: Thales Alenia Space

[Via Satellite 12-11-13] The Athena-Fidus broadband telecommunications satellite, a joint French-Italian program, arrived at the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana on Dec. 9. Arianespace will carry out the launch using an Ariane 5 ECA launcher on Jan. 23 2013.

The Athena-Fidus program (Access on theatres for European allied forces nations-French Italian dual use satellite) includes a geostationary satellite with EHF and Ka-band transponders and the ground control segment, based in a French military site. The satellite deploys civil telecom standards DVB-RCS and DVB-S2. It will primarily provide data transmission services to the French and Italian defense ministries, as well as to these countries’ security organizations, which include civil security, homeland security, police and firefighters.

Thales Alenia Space is the program’s prime contractor on behalf of the French and Italian space agencies, CNES and ASI, as well as the French (DGA) and Italian (Segredifesa) defense ministries, respectively with responsibility for the development, construction, testing and in-orbit delivery of the satellite. Telespazio is involved in the ground segment part of this project, contributing to launch matters and the subsequent orbital positioning of the satellite.

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