The company has signed two contracts with South Korean companies relating to the development of high-agility, high-resolution military observation satellites.
Thales Alenia Space has signed two contracts — one with Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) and one with Hanwha Systems Corporation (HSC) — relating to the development of a constellation of four high-agility, high-resolution radar satellites for Korea's Agency for Defence Development (ADD), under the so-called 425 Project.
The contracts provide for transfer of technology relating to synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites to the Korean companies. The Franco-Italian firm says technology will be derived from the dual-use COSMO-SkyMed programme.
Thales Alenia Space will provide the SAR payloads and platform components (including the Control Momentum Gyroscope and sensors), derived from the HER1000 High Efficiency Radar. This technology will guarantee fast revisits under all meteorological conditions.
The satellites, featuring innovative 5m antennas, will be used by the Korean authorities for surveillance, intelligence and control of specific areas of interest through the acquisition of high-resolution images.
According to Thales Alenia Space, the satellites' control momentum gyros — featuring a spinning rotor and a single motorised gimbal — will give them unique agility. As the rotor tilts, the changing angular momentum causes a gyroscopic torque that rotates the spacecraft.