On June 24 – 25, the sixth Space Telecommunications Conference took place in Santander, Spain. The conference, established by Hispasat, focused on the challenge of efficiency in the satellite industry and the path to innovation. International Launch Services (ILS) took part in the conference, along with over 35 other panelists from the aerospace and telecommunications industries.
ILS President Phil Slack spoke on the launch panel, accompanied by Florent D’Heilly of Arianespace, Kjell Karlsen of Sea Launch, Naohiko Abe of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and Robert Cleave of Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services. Hispasat Strategy and Business Development Director Jordi Bosom moderated the panel discussion, which was oriented towards new solutions to improve efficiency.
ILS Meeting Industry Demands
During the panel, Slack addressed the phase IV Proton enhancements currently in production by ILS majority owner Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center (Khrunichev). The enhancements include a new 5-meter diameter payload fairing (PLF), and additional flexibility in mission design for added performance.
The wider fairing envelope is being made accessible in order to accommodate customer future needs. ILS and Khrunichev are developing the new PLF in order to meet the growing customer demand for heavier and larger volume satellites, in addition to lighter stackable satellites. The fairing will be available for flight in 2016.
Other enhancements include additional mission design flexibility. The phase IV vehicle enhancements, now in development, will provide 200 kg of additional performance to geosynchronous transfer orbit bringing total payload systems mass capability to 6.35MT. The phase IV Proton is scheduled for launch in 2014. Currently, ILS customers can take advantage of an additional 200 kg of performance with a super-synchronous transfer orbit (SSTO) mission design. An SSTO mission can provide up to 200 kg additional performance for use by heavier satellites, additional projected lifetime, or reduction of orbit-raising required for electric propulsion.
ILS’ new offerings pertain to items outside of the Proton integrated vehicle as well. ILS frequently pursues new ways to aid customers in the procurement process. ILS now offers customers assistance with financing through EXIAR Export Credit Insurance.