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Satnews Daily
January 13th, 2014

Saft Roars With Pride... As 100th Satellite Uses Li-ion Battery (Power To Satellites)

[SatNews] The company has put more than 9,000 battery cells into orbit and logged 275 million hours, or 31,000 years, without failure or deviation.

Saft, a designer and manufacturer of high technology batteries for industry, achieved a milestone when the 100th satellite to use the company’s pioneering Li-ion battery technology launched this month.  The Inmarsat 5 F-1 satellite lifted off from the Proton M rocket in Baikonour, Kazakhstan on December 8. The takeoff also marks the 75th GEO satellite in orbit using Saft batteries.

Saft began supplying Li-ion batteries little more than a decade ago, in 2002, and has since developed a strong reputation as the leader in reliability and performance among customers worldwide. To date, Saft customers have launched Li-ion batteries valued at 120M euros into space. The company has put more than 9,000 battery cells into orbit and logged 275 million hours, or 31,000 years, without failure or deviation. Its Li-ion technology is proven to last throughout the life of the satellite, up to 18 years of orbit in most cases.

Saft’s extensive list of partnerships with flight heritage includes space and defense industry leaders, such as Boeing, EADS Astrium, Thales Alenia Space, Orbital Sciences Corp, NASA, the European Space Agency, CNES and many others. The company’s long heritage in space dates back to its first satellite launch in 1966, and Saft has since continued to grow its market share within the sector, helped by its Li-ion technology. Most of the company’s batteries in orbit are within the GEO commercial or military telecommunication satellites, with the oldest, W3A manufactured by EADS AST, launched in 2004.

For these 100 launches, Saft provided long-life, high energy batteries, comprised of VES 140, VES 180, VL 48E and MPS cells, for the satellites. Saft’s Li-ion battery packs supply a voltage range of 4V to 100V with a capacity from 5.8 to 52 Ah at the cell level and up to 625 Ah at battery level. The Li-ion battery system is lightweight, which reduces the overall mass of the satellite to improve efficiency.

“Saft has a diverse offering of space-qualified cells that are designed to meet all the stringent requirements vital to successful performance in space, including the abilities to operate in extreme temperatures and to withstand thousands of cycles for the life of the spacecraft,” said Thomas Alcide, General Manager of Saft’s Specialty Battery Group. “The 100th launch demonstrates our leadership position in the satellite industry, especially in the GEO market. Saft is proud of the success and leadership we have been able to establish within the worldwide space community over the past decade.”

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