COM DEV Europe Signs (euro)5 Million Contract With European Space Agency

Dépèche transmise le 7 octobre 2010 par PRNewswire

AYLESBURY, England, October 7, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- COM DEV Europe, a subsidiary of leading space hardware manufacturer COM DEV International Ltd. , announced today that it has signed a (euro)5 million contract with the European Space Agency (ESA) for the development of new SB-SAT (SwiftBroadband for Satellite) technology. Partnered with Inmarsat and Broad Reach Engineering (US), COM DEV Europe will develop an SB-SAT terminal that will enable 24/7 access to Low Earth Orbiting spacecraft, utilising Inmarsat's existing I-4 satellite network.

Low Earth Orbiting (LEO) spacecraft can currently only communicate with the ground during the ten minute period when they fly over a dedicated ground station. Consequently, satellite operators have to invest in expensive ground segment infrastructure, or lease dedicated facilities, in order to communicate with the spacecraft for just a short period a few times a day. Satellites have to be designed to store data until the satellite passes over a ground station and such data is very often 'out of date' by the time it reaches the user.

The SB-SAT concept would enable LEO spacecraft to continuously communicate during the whole orbit. Space-qualified SB-SAT terminals, which will be specially adapted versions of Inmarsat's aeronautical SwiftBroadband service, will be incorporated on LEO spacecraft. The terminals relay signals to the Inmarsat satellites located further out in space, in geostationary orbit, and then through the Inmarsat ground stations to the user or operator, making full use of Inmarsat's mobile broadband system and its proven infrastructure. This will allow 24/7 access with very low latency at data rates up to 475kb/s, opening up new mission opportunities. The SB-SAT terminal will be designed with an integrated GPS receiver and antenna controller, though it can be supplied as a terminal only if desired.

"The contract with ESA is a major endorsement of the SB-SAT concept, and will provide a significant boost to its development," said Rob Spurrett, Managing Director of COM DEV Europe. "This pioneering technology promises to revolutionise the way in which LEO spacecraft communicate with the ground, often to share essential and time-critical information."

The (euro)5 million contract is split into two phases, with the second phase contingent on successful completion of the first, and all work expected to be completed by 2012. Funded by the UK's Technology Strategy Board contribution to the ESA ARTES 3-4 programme, the contract covers the development to Engineering Qualification Model and the modification to the Inmarsat ground segment. In a separate contract award, Inmarsat is to receive funding from the US's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to provide a flight terminal and service demonstration in space, with contracts awarded from Inmarsat to Broad Reach Engineering and COM DEV Europe as part of the overall award.

Inmarsat, COM DEV Europe and Broad Reach Engineering have signed a Teaming Agreement for the provision of the space-borne SB-SAT terminal and associated service provision, and will jointly market the terminal and service to LEO satellite manufacturers and operators. A number of opportunities are being investigated with terminal production expected to be divided between COM DEV Europe facilities in the UK and at Broad Reach Engineering facilities in the US.

About COM DEV Europe

COM DEV Europe (CDE) is a subsidiary of COM DEV International (), a leading global designer and manufacturer of space hardware subsystems. Founded in 1985 and based in Aylesbury, United Kingdom, CDE supplies complex equipment, technology solutions and subsystems for space applications with equipment supplied on over 75 space programmes. Its customer base includes all the major commercial space satellite providers as well as government institutions.

About Broad Reach Engineering

Broad Reach Engineering produces spaceflight hardware and software solutions, integrating vehicle design, component design and engineering services for aerospace, scientific, commercial and military customers on four continents and for global space centers and contractors. The company's radiation-hardened avionics and electronics product lines include the next-generation BRE440 "system-on-a-chip" - the world's highest-performance radiation-hardened microprocessor. Founded in 1997, the company has office and laboratory locations in Tempe, Ariz., and Golden, Colo. For more information, please visit .

About Inmarsat

Inmarsat plc is the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services. Since 1979, Inmarsat has been providing reliable voice and high-speed data communications to governments, enterprises and other organizations, with a range of services that can be used on land, at sea or in the air. The company's services are delivered through a global network of more than 400 distribution partners and service providers operating in 100 countries. For the year ended 31 December 2009, Inmarsat plc had total revenue of US$1,038.1 million (2008: US$996.7 million) with an EBITDA of US$594.2 million (2008: US$531.2 million). For more information, please visit .

This news release may contain certain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from results indicated in any forward-looking statements. The Company cautions that, among other things, in view of the rapid changes in communications markets and technologies, and other risks including the cost and market acceptance of the Company's new products, the level of individual customer procurements and competitive product offerings and pricing, and general economic circumstances, the Company's business prospects may be materially different from forward-looking statements made by the Company.

The triangular logo and the word COM DEV are each registered trademarks and the property of COM DEV Ltd. All rights reserved.

For further information: Rob Goldsmith, Business Development Director, COM DEV Europe, Tel: +44-1296 616420, ; Gary Calhoun, Chief Financial Officer, COM DEV International, Tel: +1-519-622-2300 ext. 2826, ; Jeff Codispodi, The Equicom Group, Tel: +1-416-815-0700 ext. 261,

CONTACT: For further information: Rob Goldsmith, Business DevelopmentDirector,COM DEV Europe, Tel: +44-1296 616420, ; GaryCalhoun, Chief Financial Officer, COM DEV International, Tel:+1-519-622-2300ext. 2826, ; Jeff Codispodi, The Equicom Group, Tel:+1-416-815-0700 ext. 261,


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