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August 2nd, 2018

Telesat Signs Airbus Defence and Space as the Second Team to Work on LEO Constellation System Design

Telesat has entered into an agreement with Airbus Defence and Space (Airbus) to further develop the system design for Telesat’s LEO constellation.

This announcement follows closely on Telesat’s July 30 announcement that the firm had signed the consortium of Thales Alenia Space and Maxar to undertake a similar scope of work on Telesat’s LEO program.

Artistic rendition of Telesat's LEO constellation.

Image is courtesy of Thales Alenia Space.

Telesat now has two separate teams, comprised of industry leading satellite manufacturing companies, who will work in close cooperation with Telesat over the coming months in a series of engineering activities and technical reviews. These efforts will culminate in each team submitting a firm proposal for final design and manufacture of Telesat’s LEO satellites and ground system infrastructure. Telesat anticipates deciding by mid-2019 on a prime contractor for Telesat’s LEO program — space segment, ground segment and system integration.
Telesat’s state-of-the-art LEO constellation will combine the company’s global spectrum rights in Ka-band with Telesat’s proprietary LEO architecture to transform global communications. Telesat LEO will offer an unsurpassed combination of capacity, speed, security, resiliency and low cost with latency that is as good as, or better than, the most advanced terrestrial networks. Able to serve the entire globe, it will become a core component in satisfying many of the world’s most challenging communications requirements. Telesat LEO will accelerate 5G expansion, bridge the digital divide with fiber-like high speed services into rural and remote communities, and set new levels of performance for commercial and government broadband on land, sea and in the air.

Executive Comment
Erwin Hudson, VP of Telesat LEO, said that Airbus has built a tremendous record in satellite manufacturing and that this agreement  will result in Airbus further developing their design and submitting a final proposal for Telesat’s full LEO system, both space and ground segment. Telesat now has two outstanding teams — Airbus and Thales Alenia Space-Maxar — supporting Telesat LEO. Each brings a broad range of technical skills and experience along with a strong belief in the project and a commitment to its success. Telesat looks forward to this next phase of the program and to selecting a prime contractor to develop the firm's LEO space and ground infrastructure.