Thales Alenia Space has delivered the first Spacebus Neo payload
module structure, including the first ever Mechanically Pumped Loop (MPL) to be
mounted on a telecommunication satellite designed for 15 years of in-orbit
service. It will be flown on the SES-17 satellite that is due to start service
operations in 2021.
Telecommunication satellites generate substantial amounts of
heat that need to be harvested from the payload and spread over large
radiators, where it dissipates into cold space. Conventionally, the hottest
units are placed right onto the radiators. This relatively simple scheme
reaches its limits when the payload becomes more demanding, as is the case for
recent Very High Throughput Satellite (VHTS) missions proposed by several satellite
The MPL is made of a network of pipes and a mechanical pump,
which circulates a refrigerant fluid to collect heat wherever it is created and
transport it to the radiators. This makes it possible to maximise use of the
available surface inside the satellite, to accommodate the repeaters required
for large VHTS missions.
MPL-based thermal control opens a completely new way to design,
manufacture and test high-capacity, digitally processed telecommunication
Thales Alenia Space, France, developed the thermal control of
Spacebus Neo satellites under ESA’s programme of Advanced Research in
Telecommunications Systems Neosat Partnership Project and the French PIA
(“Programme d’Investissement d’Avenir”).
The Partnership Project has helped to derisk partners’
investment by developing this disruptive technology and thereby achieve a
competitive leap forward in the highly dynamic VHTS satellite market. This was
achieved thanks to the combined expertise and excellent collaboration of Thales
Alenia Space, ESA, the French Space Agency CNES and SES, the customer of the
Spacebus Neo module with its novel thermal control system.
EHP contributes to this development as the provider of new generation of heat exchanger.
Arianespace conducted its final launch of 2018 on Wednesday, following a scrub – due to strong winds at the launch site – on Tuesday. The launch used a Soyuz rocket to deploy a high-resolution imaging satellite for the French military. Soyuz lifted off from the Centre Spatial Guyanais – near Kourou, French Guiana.
Wednesday launch deployed CSO-1, the first of three satellites that will form the Composante Spatiale Optique (CSO), or Optical Space Component. These spacecraft will serve the French military, replacing the earlier Helios reconnaissance satellites. To develop the constellation, France’s Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA – Directorate General of Armaments) has entered into a partnership with the national space agency, CNES.
Airbus Defence and Space is the prime contractor for the three CSO satellites, which are based around its AstroSat-1000 platform. Each satellite has a mass of 3,565 kilograms (7,859 pounds) and is expected to operate for at least ten years. The imaging systems were produced by Thales Alenia Space. From sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of about 800 kilometers (497 miles, 432 nautical miles), CSO-1 is expected to be able to image the Earth at resolutions of about 35 centimeters (14 inches).
CSO-1 is the first satellite in France’s third generation of reconnaissance satellites, following on from two pairs of Helios spacecraft.
On board CSO-1, three complete thermal bus using EHP macro loop heat pipe (LHP²) which will permit the instrument to function in its optimal performance.
SES-12 equipped with two P-DPS made in EHP was successfully launched to a Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO) on Monday, June 4, 2018 from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
Liftoff occurred at 12:45 a.m. EDT. The SES-12 satellite was deployed about 32 minutes after liftoff.
The DPS arms are clearly visible throughout the live launch stream.