Airbus Defence and Space

Airbus Defence and Space chosen as industrial partner by Argentine satellite operator ARSAT

  • Airbus Defence and Space to supply Argentina’s first telecommunications satellite with key technologies


Paris, September 8th 2009 – ARSAT has selected Airbus Defence and Space to supply the Arsat 1 satellite with a variety of key technologies: the Satellite Processing Unit (SPU), the central cylinder as well as the propulsion subsystem. Arsat-1, the first in a series of satellites, is scheduled to be launched in 2012 and will provide coverage for Latin America.


The SPU (Satellite Processing Unit) is the satellite platform’s on-board computer. This is one of the satellite’s key components.  Hosting the Argentine custom developed software, it controls telecommand, telemetry and spacecraft internal communication interfaces, monitors the vehicle systems and contributes to the satellite’s fault detection, isolation and recovery (FDIR) system.


Airbus Defence and Space has already delivered more than 100 control computers in various projects with different international satellite integrators.


The composite central cylinder is the primary structure of Arsat-1. It is the ‘backbone’ of the satellite, having a mass of only 50 kg due to the use of an ultra-high modulus carbon fibre sandwich. This forms an interface with the launcher and supports the total mass of the satellite, which can be up to three tons. A total of 70 central cylinders like this have already been developed by Airbus Defence and Space.

For both the SPU and central cylinder, Airbus Defence and Space was selected by ARSAT as a result of an international competition.


Airbus Defence and Space was later selected to provide the propulsion subsystem - a bi-propellant system which uses an oxidizer and fuel to propel the satellite after separation from the launcher to its final orbital position. During the satellite’s lifetime it provides active attitude control and 3-axis stabilization for accurate antenna pointing.

Airbus Defence and Space has produced more than 50 Bi-Propellant Systems for different customers worldwide.

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 2008, Airbus Defence and Space had a turnover of €4.3 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 Transportation for launchers and orbital infrastructure, Airbus Defence and Space for spacecraft and ground segment and Airbus Defence and Space for the development and delivery of satellite services.

AIRBUS Group is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2008, AIRBUS Group generated revenues of €43.3 billion and employed a workforce of more than 118, 000.


About Arsat

Empresa Argentina de Soluciones Satelitales Sociedad Anonima, ARSAT, is a company incorporated by the Argentine Government in 2006. The company aims to develop Argentine geostationary orbital slots through telecommunications satellites built in Argentina. ARSAT has selected INVAP, a satellite manufacturer established in Bariloche, Argentina, as prime contractor for the development and manufacturing of its satellites.


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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