Thales Alenia Space has announced that HISPASAT has signed an agreement with Thales Alenia Space España, its Spanish subsidiary, for the development and supply of the REDSAT Advanced Communication Payload for the AG1, a small GEO mission within the scope of the European Space Agency's ARTES 11 program.

The small geostationary satellite initiative targets the development of a general purpose small geostationary satellite, which will enable European players to compete effectively in this sector of the commercial GEO telecom market. The program will subsequently involve the development, manufacturing and launch of a first satellite mission to provide flight experience and an in-orbit demonstration of both the advanced payload and the platform.

HISPASAT is prime contractor for the AG1 mission and will subcontract the REDSAT advanced communication payload to Thales Alenia Space España, which will lead the project. The REDSAT payload features two major innovations: a broadband multimedia system and an advanced antenna system.

The broadband multimedia DVB system is an end-to-end advanced communication system based on an Onboard Regenerative Processor and providing DVB-RCS/DVB-S2 capabilities. Thales Alenia Space España will define, develop and produce the whole system, including both space and ground subassemblies.

The advanced antenna system will enable the small GEO mission to meet its performance specifications for both the transparent and regenerative repeaters in the Ku and Ka frequency bands. EADS CASA Espacio will develop and produce the entire antenna system, including space and ground subassemblies. It comprises the reflector antennas to support the mission in Ku and Ka frequency bands, and a highly innovative active direct radiating receiving antenna in Ku-band.