April 20th, 2011
RUAG Space... NEXT Up (Satellites)
RUAG Space has won a contract for the delivery of 81 electronics units for the Iridium NEXT satellites. These Iridium Payload Interface Units (PLIUs) will be manufactured in Gothenburg, Sweden by order of Thales Alenia Space, the prime contractor for Iridium NEXT. The satellites will deliver and enhance Iridium’s global connectivity services for decades to come and will replace the current Iridium network, with launches starting in 2014. As prime contractor for Iridium NEXT, Thales Alenia Space is responsible for managing engineering development, systems integration and manufacture of the space segment comprising 66 operational Iridium satellites, six in-orbit spare satellites and nine ground spare satellites. Thales Alenia will design Iridium NEXT satellites to host payloads that will provide a unique value proposition to government organizations in terms of coverage, latency and cost when it comes to gathering and communicating mission-critical global data. RUAG Space AB in Sweden will supply 81 Flight Models of a Payload Interface Unit (PLIU) for control and monitoring of the Iridium satellite payloads including temperature control, equipment status, reconfigurations and antenna pointing. The units will contain a combination of digital and analog electronics. RUAG Space AB in Sweden has been supplying both satellites and launch vehicles with advanced and reliable on-board electronics systems since the 1970s when the ESA satellite TD1 was launched. Today, RUAG Space electronics units have logged more than 2,200 years of failure-free service in orbit.