ABS-2 and Athena-Fidus begin their Spaceport preparations for Arianespace’s launch on Ariane 5
Processing has begun for the two payloads to be orbited by Arianespace on Ariane 5: the multi-mission ABS-2, with telecommunications coverage for 60 percent of the world’s population; and Athena-Fidus, which is to provide data transmission services for the French and Italian defense ministries, as well as these countries' security organizations.
Both spacecraft are advanced relay platforms, with ABS-2 to become one of the most powerful commercial satellites launched in the Eastern Hemisphere, and Athena-Fidus deploying the latest civil telecom standards – DVB-RCS and DVB-S2 – to ensure optimum transmission capacity and service availability.
The Ariane 5 mission with ABS-2 and Athena-Fidus is planned for early 2014 on Arianespace’s Flight VA217, to be conducted from the Spaceport in French Guiana.
ABS-2 is a C-, Ku- and Ka-band satellite designed to provide multiple services that include direct-to-home and cable television distribution, VSAT services, data networks, and telecommunications services across four continents. Built by Space Systems/Loral (SSL), it will be positioned at 75 deg. East longitude – which is the prime geostationary orbital location for global satellite operator ABS.
Athena-Fidus is a geostationary satellite equipped with EHF and Ka-band transponders for the defense requirements of France and Italy, while also serving such operations as civil security, homeland security, law enforcement and firefighting in the countries. It was built by program prime contractor Thales Alenia Space on behalf of the French and Italian space agencies (CNES and ASI), as well as the French DGA and Italian Segredifesa defense ministry organizations.