Press Release

Alenia Spazio at Sat Expo 2002

By SpaceRef Editor
October 4, 2002
Filed under ,

This year, Alenia Spazio, a Finmeccanica company, is taking part in the
ninth edition of Sat Expo’, the Telecommunications Show being held at the
Vicenza Fair, October 4-7.

A leader in the field of satellite systems for telecommunications and
multimedia services with years of experience in the space sector, Alenia
Spazio has for some time focused its attention on broad-band and multimedia
services to support fast Internet (that is, high-speed Internet navigation),
as well as on developing new digital platforms and the subsequent
strengthening of related interactive applications.

At Sat Expo’, the Italian company will present an exhibition divided into
three areas: Telecommunications/Multimedia, Navigation and Safety.

The main programmes presented are SkyplexNet, Galileo, Atlantic Bird 1 and

SkyplexNet is the innovative digital platform for broad-band
telecommunications that offers direct access to the satellite and opens the
way to a new generation of satellites for interactive multimedia services:
from distance learning to telemedicine, from web casting to
videoconferencing and data transfer, from company Intranet to thematic
multicasting, and from Soho (Small Office and Home Office) to municipal
networks for public services.

Flexible, economical and easy to use, the SkyplexNet network is based on
Skyplex, a digital processor that treats the signal on board the satellite
instead of on the ground like traditional systems.

The new turbo Skyplex was launched recently on board Hot Bird 6, the latest
in the Eutelsat fleet. This new Skyplex is an improvement of the transponder
carried on Hot Bird 5 in 1988 and is able to provide cheaper solutions for
the transmission station and greater flexibility in bandwidth assignation.
This transponder further perfects the system and introduces an important
novelty: for the first time, the processor is linked to the Ka band. A
smaller antenna and the use of more sophisticated and powerful error
correction codes complete a system offering many not merely economic

Several commercial agreements are proof of the considerable interest in the
new SkyplexNet system, the most important of which are with,
Catholic University of Rome, Openet, ITS, Relive, Cliocom and Freedom land.

The advantages of the SkyplexNet platform will be illustrated at Sat Expo’
through multimedia demonstrations and presentations that will present the
new Set-Top Box, created in cooperation between Alenia Spazio and STM
Microelectronics and integrated by partner CiaoLab Technology, the company
that designs and builds second-generation IP connections. The new Set-Top
Box allows satellite reception of TV, Web TV and Internet channels and is
able to support interactive television and links to normal company LAN. By
next December, it will also use the SkyplexNet platform on Hot Bird 6 for
satellite transmission.

Alenia Spazio will also be presenting Galileo at the Vicenza exhibition.
This is the future satellite navigation programme for which the Finmeccanica
company is industrial leader within the European company Galileo Industries.

Based on a constellation of 30 satellites orbiting 23,000 km above Earth
able to inform all mobile means of their exact position and speed, at any
time, the programme will become a key element for the movement and safety of
vehicles, people and goods in the very near future. In particular, Galileo,
which is compatible with current navigation systems (Gps and inertial), will
be of enormous assistance to air, land, sea and rail traffic, improving
transport safety and easing traffic flows.

Galileo will begin operations in 2005 for exclusively civilian applications.
At the service of business and citizens, the system will find automatic or
man-assisted utilisation in a number of fields: agriculture and fisheries,
ecology and mobile communications, and personal mobility. All this will
contribute to making it one of the most innovative projects, destined to
have significant economic, industrial and employment repercussions in the
near future, as well as improving our quality of life.

Once fully operational, in 2008, the European satellite navigation system
will generate a turnover of around 10 billion Euros a year, compared with an
estimated overall cost of between 3.2 and 3.4 billion Euros (the equivalent
of constructing 150 kilometres of motorway). Moreover, according to the EU
Commission, Galileo will create 150,000 new jobs.

With regard to the telecommunications sector, the Italian company will
present Atlantic Bird 1, the first satellite for commercial
telecommunication developed entirely in Italy by Alenia Spazio as prime
contractor. The absolute novelty of this initiative lies in its being
financed by Cofiri, a leading financial group, that commissioned the
industrial construction of the satellite from Alenia Spazio and leased its
utilisation to Eutelsat.

From its orbital position at 12.5o West over the Atlantic Ocean, the
satellite will allow the development of Internet connections between Europe,
the United States and South America. Launched last August 28 from the Kourou
space base (French Guiana), Atlantic Bird 1 has reached its final
geostationary orbit and successfully deployed the antennas and solar panels
and activated the payloads. It is currently completing acceptance tests and
will be officially delivered to Eutelsat, which will manage it throughout
its operative life, around the middle of October.

At the telecommunications show, Alenia Spazio will also be presenting a
model of Sicral, the first Italian national system of military satellite
telecommunications. Developed with complete autonomy for design by Alenia
Spazio on behalf of the Sitab consortium, Sicral is now completely operative
and is characterised by the capacity to adapt to the most difficult working
conditions at reduced management costs. Autonomy, mobility, safety,
flexibility and inter-operability complete the picture of a perfect defence
network in the air, on land and at sea capable of adapting to such difficult
conditions as those connected to recent international events and of
supporting military operations such as Enduring Freedom and the Genoa G8

Defending humanity, therefore, also through the use of satellites and
satellite data.

Finally, at Sat Expo’, the Italian company will present the e-green
programme – a system of forecasting and monitoring electromagnetic emissions
that will be able to provide complete and accurate mapping of urban areas
threatened by electromagnetic pollution.

The data supplied by Earth observation satellites will be used to study
phenomena of subsidence and hydro-geological faults so as to offer an
efficient solution to the problem of monitoring and measuring the areas at
greatest risk

SpaceRef staff editor.