EADS Astrium has awarded EMS Technologies’ Space & Technology/Atlanta Division two contracts valued at $6.1 M for key hardware on the United Kingdom’s next-generation military communications satellite system, Skynet 5. It is the first UK satellite programme to be funded through an innovative private finance initiative and is providing military satellite communications services to all three services of the UK Armed Forces. The new satellites are due for launch in 2006 and 2007.

For the first contract, the company will supply the low noise amplifier (LNA) assembly for the front end of the SHF repeaters subsystem. The company has used its ferrite technology to include redundant LNA capability in this vital assembly, which protects the satellite from terrestrial threats while giving it the ability to establish and maintain reliable communication links from space.

For the second contract, EMS will provide a solid-state, MMIC-based switch matrix, which is smaller, lighter and more reliable than the more traditional mechanical switch-based networks. This switch matrix will route input signals to the selected output downlink, ensuring the proper routing of RF signals.