Inmarsat to operate Alphasat

Mobile satellite communications services provider Inmarsat has signed an agreement to operate the European Space Agency’s Alphasat project


London-headquartered mobile satellite communications services provider Inmarsat has signed an agreement to operate the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Alphasat project.



Alphasat is an ESA initiative for the development of Alphabus, a new platform capable of carrying a large communications payload. This new satellite will supplement the existing Inmarsat-4 satellites. The Alphasat satellite will provide service over Europe, the Middle East and Africa, allowing the company access to a new allocation of L-Band spectrum across those regions.


Concurrent with the award from ESA, Inmarsat Global Limited has entered into an agreement to procure the satellite from Astrium Satellites, a subsidiary of EADS, with the satellite scheduled to be completed early in 2012.



The Alphasat project represents an important collaboration with ESA, which is contributing a significant amount to the acquisition costs of the satellite, its launcher and the development of new processor technology in partnership with Astrium Satellites.



The satellite payload work will be carried out in Portsmouth and Stevenage and has attracted funds of over €50m from East of England Development Agency, the South East England Development Agency and the London Development Agency. Inmarsat expects to outlay a total of €260m, minus insurance costs, to put the satellite in orbit.