Airbus Defence and Space

Airbus Defence and Space-built Inmarsat-4 satellite system receives SSPI 2010 Industry Innovators Award

  • Inmarsat and Airbus Defence and Space honoured by SSPI at the Industry Innovators Award ceremony in WashingtonD.C. at SATELLITE 2010
  • SSPI recognises the three highly innovative Airbus Defence and Space-built Inmarsat-4 satellites


Washington D.C., 17 March 2010: The Society of Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) committee of industry experts has selected Inmarsat and Airbus Defence and Space for the Industry Innovators Awards, recognising their outstanding contribution to the field of satellite communications in developing the three-satellite Inmarsat 4 satellite system. Gene Jilg, CTO of Inmarsat, and Evert Dudok, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space, officially received the award from Robert Bell, SSPI Executive Director, at a gala ceremony held on the opening day of the annual SATELLITE conference in Washington D.C.


The SSPI award honours Inmarsat as the creative innovator and Airbus Defence and Space as the systems engineer and project manager for the complex, multi-year effort to develop and launch the Inmarsat-4 system of spacecraft. Serving about 98% of the global population, the Inmarsat-4 satellites use onboard processors to adapt to changes in traffic across the globe, and can generate nearly 256 spot beams for users on earth while dynamically allocating bandwidth based on demand. A unique feature of the Inmarsat-4 satellites is the ability to generate beams of variable size to adjust the performance of the link with user terminals of different size and capability.


The main technical challenges faced in developing the six-ton Inmarsat-4 satellites was the design and manufacture of the digital processor, plasma propulsion system, payload engineering and system engineering which was undertaken by Airbus Defence and Space in the UK and France; the L-band reflector by Astro Space (Northrup Grumman, USA); and the L-band feed by EMS (now MDA, Canada).


The three Inmarsat-4 satellites were built with Airbus Defence and Space as the prime contractor. Based on the successful Eurostar E3000 platform, the Inmarsat 4 satellites set a new benchmark for mobile satellite communications in terms of their power, capacity and flexibility


Gene Jilg, CTO of Inmarsat who accepted the award on behalf of his colleagues, said “It is fitting that an organisation of the calibre of SSPI should recognise the challenge and the accomplishment represented by the Inmarsat 4 series of spacecraft. Particularly so because the collaboration between Airbus Defence and Space and Inmarsat has been so intense and enduring”


Evert Dudok, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space said “The Inmarsat-4 satellites represent the cutting-edge of global satellite communication. It is fantastic to receive recognition from an organisation as prestigious as the SSPI for the contribution both Inmarsat and Airbus Defence and Space has made in developing this sophisticated satellite system.”


About Airbus Defence and Space


Airbus Defence and Space, a wholly owned subsidiary of AIRBUS Group, is dedicated to providing civil and defence space systems and services. In 2009, Airbus Defence and Space had a turnover of €4.8 billion and more than 15,000 employees in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands. Its three main areas of activity are Airbus Defence and Space for launchers and orbital infrastructure, Airbus Defence and Space for spacecraft and ground segment and Airbus Defence and Space for the development and provision of secure and commercial satcoms and networks, high security satellite communications equipment, geo-information products and services, and navigation services.


AIRBUS Group is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2009, AIRBUS Group generated revenues of €42.8 billion and employed a workforce of more than 119, 000.


Press contacts:

Daniel Mosely (Airbus Defence and Space UK)                                                      Tel.: 44 (0)1 438 77 8180

Matthieu Duvelleroy (Airbus Defence and Space FR)                                              Tel.: 33 (0) 1 77 75 80 32

Ralph Heinrich (Airbus Defence and Space GER)                                                   Tel.: 49 (0) 89 607 33971

Francisco Lechón (Airbus Defence and Space SP)                                                 Tel.: 34 91 586 37 41

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