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By | November 1, 2012

      Arianespace Sends Eumetsat Metop-B into Orbit on Soyuz

      Arianespace and its Starsem affiliate have successfully launched the Metop-B European weather satellite into orbit from on a Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur Spaceport, the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (Eumetsat) confirmed.

      The Soyuz launcher deployed Metop-B and a Fregat upper stage shortly after takeoff. Starsem managed the launch of the Soyuz 2-1a rocket – Arianespace’s updated version of the Soyuz spacecraft. Metop-B is the second of three polar-orbiting satellites owned by Eumetsat. It will replace Metop-A, which was launched in October 2006.

      Astrium Selected as Prime Contractor by DLR for In-Orbit Servicing Project

      Astrium has been selected by the DLR Space Administration as the prime contractor for the definition phase of the German orbital servicing mission (DEOS) project in a deal worth approximately 13 million euros ($16.8 million).

      DLR Space Administration is carrying out the DEOS project with funding from the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. Astrium will demonstrate technologies for the DEOS project, which aims to provide controlled in-orbit disposal of a defective satellite, along with maintenance tasks such as refueling.

      Astrium will be responsible for development work at its Friedrichshafen and Bremen facilities in cooperation with specialist companies and research institutions acting as subcontractors.

      ATCi Releases Flyaway Broadcasting Systems for European Customers

      Antenna Technology Communications Inc. (ATCi) has introduced a specialized family of pre-packaged flyaway broadcasting systems designed to meet unique requirements and applications geared toward European sports and news networks.

      The new broadcasting system also supports applications including: universities for distance learning applications; new satellite channels; existing channels to broadcast specific program feeds; large corporations to provide live feeds from headquarters to remote sites; and news agencies for transmitting live news feeds.

      ATCi’s pre-packaged flyaway systems are available in up to four-channel packages in both C-band and Ku-band depending on customer needs. Standard packages include the antenna and all related indoor and outdoor electronics that will handle encoding, modulation, transmission as well as monitoring of the satellite signal.

      Harris Broadcast Communications Receives HD Broadcast Equipment Order from Infront Italy

      Harris Broadcast Communications has received an order for advanced digital asset management (DAM) technology from Infront Italy, which will use the equipment to provide highlights from Italian football league matches in HD.

      Infront Italy customers can view the highlights on their mobile phones, PDAs and laptops within minutes of the live event. Infront Italy is contracted by the Italian football leagues to provide domestic media outlets with highlights for news purposes in compliance with the Italian law. The broadcasters can select interesting action during a live match streaming and will receive that content rapidly from the system for their own personalized editing.

      Hitech Luxembourg Contracted to Provide EDRS Satellite Ground Stations

      European engineering and technology company Hitech Luxembourg been selected to provide four antenna systems as part of the satellite ground stations to monitor and control the EDRS satellite network.

      EDRS is the European network of geostationary satellites which acts as gateway between Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites and ground stations. The system will allow these LEO satellites to deliver data continuously in broadband quality, even with no line-of-sight to their respective ground station. The ground stations will operate in Ka-band. The first will be delivered by the end of 2013, with the last ones being installed by mid-2014

      The project is led by DLR subcontractor SES TechCom, which recently signed a contract with Astrium to furnish major parts of the ground segment. The contract with Hitech includes the design, manufacturing and on-site installation of the antennas at key sites in Germany, the United Kingdom and Belgium.

      SpaceX Wins Three-Satellite Launch Contract with SES

      Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) has been contracted by SES to launch three additional SES satellites on Falcon 9 or Falcon Heavy rockets.

      The launch agreement was completed through SES’ affiliate company SES-SL. The first of these new launches will take place in 2015. SpaceX won a previous launch agreement with SES in March 2011 to place the SES-8 satellite into orbit in 2013.

      SES president and CEO Romain Bausch said all four Falcon missions would support the enhancement of SES’ global fleet of satellites.

      Thales Alenia Space Partners with Honeywell to Integrate Ka-band System for Global Xpress

      Thales Alenia Space will partner with Honeywell to integrate its Inmarsat Global Xpress aviation Ka-band satcom avionics and antenna systems with Thales’ cabin network solutions. The partnership aims to provide commercial airline operators and passengers with four times the in-flight connectivity bandwidth currently available and to enable real-time TV channel viewing, social media connectivity, virtual office capability and video conferencing.

      Boeing is currently building the Inmarsat Global Xpress satellites at its facilities in El Segundo, Calif. The first of the three Global Xpress launches is planned for the third quarter of 2013.