Space Commerce

GMV To Develop The Ground Control Center For Hisdesat’s New Satellites

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
January 23, 2023
Filed under ,
GMV To Develop The Ground Control Center For Hisdesat’s New Satellites
SPAINSAT NG program satellites

Spanish govern

Spanish government satellite operator Hisdesat has awarded multinational GMV a contract to build and develop the ground segment of the SPAINSAT NG program satellites.

These two new satellites, scheduled for launch in 2024 and 2025 respectively, will replace the operator’s current SpainSat and XTAR-EUR satellites and significantly improve on their performance and capabilities.

The main control and tracking station will be located in Madrid (Spain) and will feature state-of-the-art technologies to provide service to the SpainSat NG satellites, the most advanced satellites in Europe for defense and secure communications. The redundant station will be located at INTA’s Maspalomas Space Station.

GMV will be primarily responsible for integrating all the systems and subsystems and the horizontal services that will manage the two SpainSat NGs from the ground.

It will also deploy the control centers, which will be equipped with cutting-edge technologies, most notably in the control system for telecommunications payloads. This system is particularly complex for software-defined satellites such as the SpainSat NGs.

Finally, it will develop and implement the system responsible for monitoring the payload of the satellites’ various frequency bands (X, Ka and UHF).

Last June, Hisdesat launched an international tender for the ground segment of the SPAINSAT NG program, divided into four lots due to its size. Competing against the sector’s leading companies, GMV won the bulk of the project by submitting the strongest technical bids.

According to Miguel Ángel García Primo, CEO of Hisdesat, launching this control center will be “a new milestone” in the race to launch the SpainSat NG satellites. He said: “The technology in the ground control center is as important as the technology in the satellite itself. That is why Hisdesat has placed its trust in the top supplier in the ground segment for what will be the most advanced satellites in Europe”.

For Jesús B. Serrano, CEO of GMV, “this new contract further tightens the close partnership between GMV and Hisdesat, a relationship that dates back to 2002. It’s a real pleasure that Hisdesat has once again placed its trust in GMV’s expertise for the new generation of Spanish government satellites. Given the complexity and sophistication of these new satellites, the contract is a new challenge for us, one that we take on with great enthusiasm.”

Founded in 1984, GMV is a privately-owned technological business group with an international presence. It operates in the following industries: space, aeronautics, security and defense, cybersecurity, intelligent transportation systems, automotive, healthcare, telecommunications, and information technologies for public authorities and large companies. In space, GMV has become the sixth largest industrial group and the first midcap in the European space sector, with over 1,300 people working in this area. It is the world’s leading supplier of control centers for commercial satellite operators, with noteworthy development under way for Hispasat, Hisdesat, Eutelsat, SES, OneWeb, Arabsat and Yahsat. It is also one of the main industrial pillars of strategic European space programs such as Galileo (navigation), Copernicus (Earth observation) and SST/STM (space debris). It contributes significantly to the principal exploration, science, planetary defense, space surveillance and space transportation missions of the European Space Agency (ESA), including participation in Hera, Mars Sample Return, Heracles and ExoMars.

For more information, please contact: Marta Jimeno (+34 691 206 856) | Marta del Pozo (+34 620 896 102)

Hisdesat was founded in 2001 as a government satellite services operator to act in the areas of defense, security, intelligence, and foreign affairs. Since 2005, it has been providing secure satellite communications services to government agencies in several countries using its XTAR-EUR and SpainSat satellites. It has also been delivering Earth observation services with radar technology via the PAZ satellite since 2018.

SPAINSAT NG is the largest project that Hisdesat has undertaken since its establishment. Its technological complexity and strategic value will position the company as an international benchmark in satellite communications.

The new generation SpainSat NGs will increase military X-band and Ka-band capacity by a factor of 16 compared to current devices and will add a new UHF payload. It will also operate with active antennas for X-band reception and transmission. These are state of the art in the European aerospace industry and will each be assigned 16 different areas of operation (Haces) to perform their coverage services by means of electronic configuration. Another major innovation is the incorporation of a transparent digital processor, which makes it possible to manage their payload electronically in practically real time.

For more information, please contact:
Mercedes Gómez
Hisdesat Communications Director
+34 914 490 149 / +34 699 069 119

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.