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ArianeGroup to supply new-generation SPRINT antenna reflectors for Airbus

(13 April 2021 - ArianeGroup) Airbus has selected ArianeGroup as the supplier of the satellite antenna reflectors for OneSat, its new satellite product which is fully reconfigurable in orbit to enable operators to adapt the satellite’s initial mission to best meet changing market needs.

OneSat will be fitted with the latest generation of ultra-light SPRINT antenna reflectors, developed by ArianeGroup in just two years, to provide an innovative, competitive response to changes in the telecommunications satellite market. The new flexible satellites demand faster industrial production rates: ArianeGroup can assemble a SPRINT reflector in only 11 weeks, compared with 24 weeks for its current ULR (Ultra-Light Reflector) technology.

SPRINT offers diameters from 1.5 to 3.0 meters and is composed of a thin thermosetting resin shell and a rear structure. The innovation lies in its architecture, made up of fully standardized components.

“This contract demonstrates that ArianeGroup’s innovation and competitive capabilities apply well beyond its space launcher activities. We have called our new generation of antenna reflectors SPRINT to emphasize the speed of its development and production: up to six reflectors in six months to help Airbus build increasingly innovative satellites for its customers,” said Fabrice Pouillerie, Head of the Industrial Products, Equipment & Services program at ArianeGroup. “I also wish to thank our R&T teams and CNES who helped launch the development of SPRINT.”

“After years of successful collaboration on the Eurostar platform, Airbus is pleased to select ArianeGroup’s deployable SPRINT reflectors for its brand-new flexible, all-electric OneSat telecommunciations satellite product line. The creativity of ArianeGroup’s SPRINT team will enable Airbus to provide state-of-the-art active antenna performance at an unprecedented delivery rate. As a OneSat partner, ArianeGroup brings to Airbus and its customers the in-orbit heritage and quality of countless reflectors. We are excited to be starting this new collaboration with them and CNES, whom we thank for their support,” said Jean Lemire, Head of Airbus Defence and Space’s antenna activities.

The production line is located at ArianeGroup’s Les Mureaux site, near Paris. ArianeGroup boasts a strong heritage in the field of satellite antenna reflectors, with over 150 in orbit to date. Its ambition is to promote its satellite antenna reflector products on North American and Asian markets in addition to Europe.

About ArianeGroup

ArianeGroup develops and supplies innovative and competitive solutions for civil and military space launchers, with expertise in all aspects of state-of-the-art propulsion technologies. ArianeGroup is lead contractor for Europe’s Ariane 5 and Ariane 6 launcher families, responsible for both design and the entire production chain, up to and including marketing by its Arianespace subsidiary, as well as for the missiles of the French oceanic deterrent force. ArianeGroup and its subsidiaries enjoy a global reputation as specialists in the field of equipment and propulsion for space applications, while their expertise also benefits other industrial sectors. The group is a joint venture equally owned by Airbus and Safran, and employs approximately 9,000 highly qualified staff in France and Germany. Its 2019 revenues amounted to 3.1 billion euros.

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