In the Spotlight

Space: the new frontier

In the Spotlight

Space: the new frontier

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    Thales Alenia Space is anticipating the needs of the future and developing solutions to meet them.

    Autonomous stratospheric geostationary platforms

    As part of a consortium notably including the Pégase competitiveness cluster, Thales Alenia Space is studying a new concept for an autonomous stratospheric platform midway between a satellite and a UAV. It will have a design lifetime of more than 5 years.

    Perched at an altitude of around 20 kilometres to scan airspace, this platform will be able to host payloads of 200 kg delivering 4 kW for a broad range of applications such as:

    • border and maritime piracy surveillance
    • boosting of GSM networks for major public events
    • GPS augmentation over areas of dense traffic

    Extra-terrestrial sample collection systems

    Thales Alenia Space is prime contractor on the two ExoMars exploration missions (2016 and 2018) for the European Space Agency (ESA).

    The 2018 mission will fly a descent module to Mars carrying a rover designed to collect soil samples from beneath the surface at depths down to 2 meters. For this purpose, ESA has asked Thales Alenia Space’s domain experts in Turin to look at developing a technology capable of recovering unique samples directly from Mars. The proposed concept is based on an inflatable capture mechanism.

    Smart telecommunications antennas

    Thales Alenia Space has developed a new tool that gives virtual network operators (VNOs) more transparency and more autonomy in managing their telecom networks.

    Using cutting-edge software, VNOs — interfacing with the control centre, satellite owner, the satellite itself and end-users — will now be able

    • to allocate satellite capacity to customers,
    • commission and maintain end-users’ modems,
    • carry out necessary tests and checks,
    • supervise their network (history and statistics).

    Designed for civil and military telecom service operators and suppliers, this solution will significantly reduce the operating cost of managing telecom networks.