OHB leaving low-earth orbit
OHB awarded ESA contract for study on geostationary multimedia satellites
The European Space Agency ESA has awarded Bremen-based space-technology company OHB-System AG a contract providing for the completion of a study concerning the establishment of a commercial satellite communications system for multimedia applications. Together with partners SES-Astra, Betzdorf, Luxembourg, ND-Satcom, Immenstaad, and Tesat Spacecom, Backnang, OHB-System as the prime contractor will be developing geostationary small-satellite technology as part of the SkyKit study by mid 2004.
SkyKit essentially comprises a large and powerful satellite known as the “IP Booster” and an intelligent and inexpensive small satellite known as the “Sky Router”. Both satellites will be positioned in close proximity to each other in a geostationary orbit at an altitude of 36,000 km and will be connected via an inter-satellite link for data transmission purposes. The “IP Booster” is responsible for transmitting data to and from Internet users on the ground, while the innovative Sky Router, whose newly designed configuration is largely being developed by OHB as the system manager, will handle inter-user networking tasks. In contrast to conventional communications satellites, which have long life spans, it will be possible to launch or replace the Sky Router quickly and flexibly to keep pace with the swift progress being made in processor and computer technology.
The SkyKit project reflects the considerable progress which OHB is making in the area of small geostationary communications satellites (Little Geos) and forms a key thrust of the Company’s strategy aimed at achieving a leading role with Little Geos in the future as well.