Saab Ericsson Space in Gothenburg, Sweden, has received an order for ten X-band helix antennas for Surrey Satellite Technology’s RapidEye satellites.
“Our wide coverage antennas have a very strong heritage background and we are able to deliver high-performance products on short notice”, says Jan Zackrisson, responsible for wide coverage antenna products at Saab Ericsson Space. “During spring we made a quick delivery of a single antenna and now we will manufacture ten more of the same type”.
RapidEye is a commercial earth observation satellite system built under leadership of MacDonald Dettwiler of Canada. The system will include five 175 kg satellites built by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd.(SSTL). The satellites will carry a high-resolution optical instrument developed by Jena-Optronik. The instrument will be capable of seeing features on ground larger than 6.5 meters from a 620 km orbit. The satellites will be launched early 2007 by the DNEPR rocket from Kazakhstan.
Saab Ericsson Space has 25 years of experience from building wide-coverage antennas. To date more than 300 antennas of this type have been delivered. The very first delivery of a helix antenna was for ESA´s scientific satellite EXOSAT. The same basic antenna type is used for both Telemetry and Telecommand of commercial telecommunication satellites and for data downlinks for scientific and earth observation satellites.
The antenna now contracted is of a type that gives equal strength downlink signal over the entire visible surface of earth. The antenna will be used for sending image data down to ground stations from the RapidEye satellites.
X-band antennas of the type ordered by SSTL for RapidEye.