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By | January 21, 2014

      Aireon Signs New Investors in Europe, Gains $120M in Equity

      Aireon has entered into binding agreements with three new investors and major Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs): ENAV (Italy), the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), and Naviair (Denmark) for $120 million in new equity.

      Following the completion of these investments, now $270 million in total, Aireon will be required — if and when funds are available — to redeem a portion of Iridium’s interest for a payment of $120 million, which is expected to occur in 2018. Upon this redemption, Nav Canada will hold 51 percent of the fully diluted ownership of Aireon, ENAV will hold 12.5 percent, and each of IAA and Naviair will hold 6 percent, with 24.5 percent being retained by Iridium.

      In addition to Iridium’s retained interest and the $120 million redemption payment, Aireon has agreed to pay $200 million in hosting fees to Iridium for the integration and launch of Aireon’s Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) receiver payloads on each of its Iridium NEXT satellites. Also, Aireon will also pay ongoing data service fees of nearly $300 million through 2030, assuming Aireon continues to successfully expand into a global business.


      Astrium to Provide 18 Additional Ariane 5 ECA Launchers

      An Ariane 5 ECA launch, used for heavier payloads. Photo: Arianespace

      An Ariane 5 ECA launch, used for heavier payloads. Photo: Arianespace

      Astrium and Arianespace have signed a contract worth more than $2.75 billion for the supply of 18 additional Ariane 5 ECA launchers. These latest Ariane 5 launchers, which follow an order for 35 launchers in 2009 (PB batch), will be launched from 2017 onwards.

      The additional 18 launchers ensure an added three-year workload for Astrium, as well as the delivery of Ariane 5 rockets until the end of 2019. The order increases the number of Ariane 5 launchers in production or awaiting manufacture for Arianespace to 38, and will guarantee the continued provision of launch services for the European operator’s customers at the Guiana Space Center through to the end of the decade.



      Signalhorn Receives Final Governmental Approval for MilCom Work in Poland

      Signalhorn received the final approval from the Polish government to proceed with its long-term agreement with Wojskowe Zakłady Łączności, a government-owned entity. A component of the expansion includes the creation of Nuclear Electro Magnetic Pulse (NEMP) testing laboratory for communication equipment allowing Signalhorn and WZL to certify and produce communication solutions that will withstand Electro Magnetic Shock in case of a nuclear event.


      SES and Eutelsat Complete Sale of Solaris Mobile to EchoStar

      SES and Eutelsat have completed the sale to EchoStar Corp. of Solaris Mobile, a jointly-owned company based in Dublin, set up to develop next-generation Mobile Satellite Services (MSS).

      Solaris Mobile is one of the European Union licensees of mobile satellite services with a complementary ground component (S-band). The companies have decided to keep the terms of the sale agreement confidential.


      Saft Li-ion Batteries Launched on 100th Satellite

      Saft rechargeable Li-ion batteries. Photo: Saft

      Saft rechargeable Li-ion batteries. Photo: Saft

      Saft achieved a milestone when the Inmarsat 5 F1 satellite became the 100th satellite to use the company’s Li-ion battery technology. The takeoff also marks the 75th GEO satellite in orbit using Saft batteries. To date, Saft customers have launched Li-ion batteries valued at more than $164 million into space. The company has put more than 9,000 battery cells into orbit and logged 275 million hours, or 31,000 years, without failure or deviation.

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