Saft signs long-term agreement with Orbital Sciences to supply Li-ion batteries for GEO satellites

August 26, 2011 // By Paul Buckley
Saft has received a multi-year, multi-million dollar long-term agreement from Orbital Sciences Corporation to provide lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries for Orbital’s STAR-2 geosynchronous orbit (GEO) satellite platform.

The first order under this agreement will provide batteries for the Orbital-built Azerspace/Africasat-1a commercial communications satellite for the Republic of Azerbaijan. For the Azerspace program , Saft has designed low-weight, high-energy batteries with space qualified VES180 Li-ion cells to support five kilowatts of payload power for 36 active transponders aboard the satellite. Scheduled to launch in 2012, it will carry hybrid Ku and C-band payloads to provide services to Azerbaijan, Central Asia, Europe and Africa.

In 2010, the government of Azerbaijan contracted Orbital to build the country’s first telecom satellite with a projected life span of 15 years. With up to 18 years of battery life, the rechargeable Li-ion cells will ensure continuous, reliable operation of the satellites at times when the solar panels are in eclipse, which is two 45-day periods per year in GEO orbit.

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