Snecma delivers electric thruster assembly for first Small GEO satellite platform

Paris, December 6, 2012Snecma (Safran group) has delivered to OHB Systems AG of Germany the final components in the Electric Propulsion Thruster Assembly (EPTA), intended for installation on the first flight-model Small GEO satellite platform.

Assembled by OHB Systems, this platform will be used on the Hispasat AG1 satellite, scheduled for an Ariane 5 launch at the end of 2014.

The EPTA, designed and built by Snecma, is a propulsion assembly with two identical, redundant branches. Each branch comprises four SPT100 stationary plasma thrusters, and a control, power management and thruster selection system. Because of its design, the all-electric EPTA will handle all satellite propulsion requirements after initial orbital positioning, including stationkeeping and intermediate orbital repositioning maneuvers.

"The development of this assembly for the Small GEO family enabled us to once again demonstrate Snecma's high-level technical expertise, as the European pioneer and leader in plasma propulsion for nearly 20 years," said Martin Sion, head of Snecma's Space Engine division. "Building on these capabilities, we are one of the few rocket engine companies in the world capable of designing and producing an electric propulsion system that fully meets our customers' requirements."

Small GEO is a geostationary satellite platform being developed by an European industrial consortium within the scope of the European Space Agency's (ESA) Artes-11 program. It is the third type of satellite bus to be fitted with a plasma propulsion system by Snecma. To date, seven Astrium satellites in orbit, based on the Eurostar 3000 platform, are equipped with Snecma's thruster module assemblies (TMA), and the first Alphasat satellite, using the new Alphabus platform, is equipped with four Snecma PPS® 1350 thrusters, rated at 89 mN of thrust.


Snecma (Safran group) is one of the world's leading manufacturers of aircraft and space engines, with a wide range of propulsion systems on offer. The company designs and builds commercial aircraft engines – including the global best-seller CFM56 and the new LEAP advanced turbofan* – that are powerful, reliable, economical and environmentally friendly, along with military aircraft engines that deliver world-class performance. Snecma also develops and produces propulsion systems and equipment for launch vehicles and satellites. EngineLife®, a new brand for Snecma's service business, offers a complete range of engine maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services to airlines, armed forces and operators.

*The CFM56 and LEAP engines are produced and marketed by CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran group, France) and GE
(United States).

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