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Polish firm begins work to build telecommunications satellite

06.12.2023 22:30
Polish company Thorium Space, in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA), has embarked on a project to develop Poland's national telecommunications satellite, an endeavor that marks a major step in the country's space technology capabilities.
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Thorium Space is responsible for defining the mission's requirements, designing the Small GEO satellite and constructing a fully digital telecommunication payload in the Ku/Ka-band, in the gigahertz pat of the electromagnetic spectrum.

These satellites, weighing less than 1 ton, represent a new generation of small, programmable telecommunications satellites.

Swiss company SwissTo12 will adapt, build and deliver the satellite platform for this project, which is part of the HummingSAT program.

The company is pioneering new-generation radio frequency payload technologies for what it says is a new class of small, cost-effective commercial geostationary satellites.

HummingSat is a Partnership Project of the European Space Agency, aiming to build a new product line for the commercial geostationary telecommunications market.

This milestone follows Poland's official entry into the ESA's optional programs in mid-November and the inclusion of Thorium Space in the HummingSAT program.

The initial cost of the project is estimated at around EUR 75 million, with the ESA's declared co-funding for the telecommunication payload alone reaching EUR 8 million in the first two years and a further EUR 25 million in the subsequent three years.

Thorium Space is a producer of advanced satellite communication systems, specializing in innovative technological solutions for spacecraft and intelligent array antennas used in the space and defense sectors.

The company's interdisciplinary team of nearly 40 space technology engineers and related specialists operates from offices in the southwestern Polish city of Wrocław and the capital Warsaw.

Ewa Poławska, Head of Communication at Thorium Space, highlighted Poland's recent participation in the ESA's HummingSAT program and the initiation of the national satellite project named KryptonSAT.

The project, featuring Thorium's payload worth over EUR 35 million, is a significant part of Poland's space commitment.

The ESA's partnership program provides an ecosystem for the satellite communication industry to introduce innovative space solutions to the commercial market. The agency has successfully implemented several major partnership projects under its Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) program, ranging from large geostationary satellites to cubesats.

These projects play a vital role in advancing the space industry, fostering innovative solutions, and supporting the competitiveness of the satellite communication industry in Europe and Canada.

Thorium Space's participation in this project marks a historic moment for the company and Poland's space sector. Recognized by the ESA as the "Mission Prime," Thorium Space will lead the construction of Poland's first geostationary satellite. The project represents a significant step in defining a wholly Polish mission that will enable the construction, integration, launch and operation of a satellite tailored to Poland's needs.

Piotr Kurgan, mission manager of KryptonSAT, emphasized the commercial nature of the project, allowing Thorium to sell its product in the commercial market. This milestone confirms Thorium Space's technological competence and recognition by the ESA, he said.


Source: pap-mediaroom.pl