|Mission duration||15 years|
|Manufacturer||Thales Alenia Space|
|Launch mass||3,080 kilograms (6,790 lb)|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||6 February, 21:30:00UTC|
|Rocket||Ariane 5 ECA|
|Launch site||Guiana Space Centre|
|Entered service||14 March 2014|
|Perigee||35,787 kilometres (22,237 mi)|
|Apogee||35,800 kilometres (22,245 mi)|
Athena-Fidus (Access on theatres for European allied forces nations-French Italian dual use satellite) is a French-Italian telecommunication satellite providing high-throughput secure communications to both nation's armed forces and their emergency services. It was manufactured by Thales Alenia Space under the supervision of CNES, the DGA and the Italian Space Agency. It complements the lower-throughput but more secure Syracuse 3 satellites. The satellite has a wet mass of 3 tonnes and was placed on Geostationary orbit in 2014. Its expected lifetime is 15 years.
Although this is a common program, each country operates its own share of the payload. The satellite provides an encrypted, 3 Gbit/s throughput, using mostly Ka-band links. It carries 14 antennas including 7 mobile spot antennas, enabling positioning of steerable 1750-km diameter spot beams over operational theaters requiring a high bandwidth. France owns 5 beams and Italy 2. The system will enable communication with deployable ground stations (420 for France), and with drones.
The ground segment for the French part of the Capacity is called Comcept. Comcept will provide a network of fixed and deployable ground stations using full-IP (Internet Protocol) technology. The system includes high-data-rate (HDR) ground stations which are installed in a transportable shelter and provide a speed of approximately 10 Mbit/s. The Comcept system is provided by Airbus Defence and Space and Actia Sodielec.
On September 7, 2018, during a visit to the Toulouse Space Center, the Ministry of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, accuses Russia of having committed in 2017 "an act of espionage" against the satellite to try to intercept secure communications..
Notes and references
- « The Athena- Fidus satellite : a model of european French-Italian cooperation », in Aeroplans, 16 February 2010 (in French), Le satellite Athena-Fidus - un exemple de coopération européenne franco-italienne
- « Thales Alenia Space will build the Athan-Fidus dual use French_Italian telecommunication system, Thales Alenia Space presse release (in French), 10 February 2010, en ligne www.thalesgroup.com
- "Ariane 5 ECA launches with ABS-2 and Athena-Fidus"
- Direction générale de l'armement press release (in French).
- CNES press release (in French)
- "The Athena-Fidus telecommunication satellite is operationnal", (in French)."Archived copy". Archived from the original on 25 March 2014. Retrieved 2014-03-22.
- French finance law for 2014
- "Press Release: Airbus Defence and Space marks first all-IP ultra-high-speed satellite communication link for French Armed Forces". www.airbusdefenceandspace.com. Archived from the original on 22 August 2014. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
- voir dans CASPWiki, y compris photo du satellite
- Johanna Decorse, Reuters, 7 septembre 2018, « La France accuse Moscou d'espionnage sur le satellite Athena-Fidus »