February 27, 2013
SINGAPORE — Astrium is speaking to countries outside Europe, including Singapore, about partnering in the development of GO-3S, the company’s new geostationary Earth observation satellite.
Astrium sales and marketing director Gregory Pederson says the 10-meter-long, 4.9-ton GO-3S will cover about a one-quarter of the Earth’s surface. It will have a mirror about 4 meters in size that can observe a 100 km by 100 km (60 x 60 mi.) sector, with 3-meter resolution and a picture rate of five images per second.
Astrium is seeking outside partners to help bankroll the effort. “We are looking for partners and investors in starting the project. We’ve already invested research and development money into this,” Pederson told Aviation Week on the sidelines of the Global Satellite & Technology Convention in Singapore.
Any country that invests in the program will get a dedicated capacity and share of revenue from services derived from the satellite, Pederson says. “Singapore for many reasons is one of the main countries interested in this,” he says. “There is potential for technical cooperation and business cooperation. Generally speaking, Singapore is interested in projects that are leading the market. We are creating a new market segment in which an investor can be at the forefront of technology and business. That is something that suits Singapore perfectly.”
Because the satellite will be designed to follow the Earth’s rotation, it can provide 14 hr. of uninterrupted coverage per day or for as long as there is daylight.
Astrium completed a feasibility study for the project at the end of 2012 and the development phase is 2013-2015, Pederson says, adding that Astrium plans to start manufacturing the satellite in 2016 and operate it in space from 2020 onward. The feasibility study revealed there is a broad range of commercial and military applications for GO-3S, he says, adding that the satellite has a design lifespan of 15 years.