UK Defence Fair FARNBOROUGH INTERNATIONAL AIRSHOW 2022

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FIA2022​


Taking place on 18-22 July, Farnborough will host leading innovators from the aerospace, aviation and defence industries and beyond. In this unprecedented opportunity to reconnect, businesses from across the globe will be coming together to embark on ground-breaking collaboration and partnership.


 

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Thales Alenia Space @ Farnborough International AirShow 2022​


Thales Alenia Space is really excited to come back to the Farnborough International AirShow, in the Space zone, 4 years after the last edition. From July 18th to 22nd, the company will be spotlighting its latest technologies in the fields of space exploration, environment monitoring and telecommunications.

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Lunar Gateway © Thales Alenia Space

The Gateway lunar space station is one of the pillars in NASA’s Artemis program to return astronauts to the Moon. It will help us establish a permanent presence on the Moon and function as a waystation for future interplanetary missions. It will also support long-term exploration of the Moon, via regular shuttle flights. Another advantage of the Artemis program is that it will allow us to develop and test the systems and procedures needed to carry out crewed missions to Mars. We obviously need a spacecraft capable of carrying astronauts from the Moon to Mars. And that’s where NASA’s Orion comes into its own.


To better understand how Thales Alenia Space became a major contributor to the Gateway, let’s go back a few years. Our company has developed globally recognized expertise in space exploration, robotics and automated transport system. We built most of the habitable volume on the International Space Station, including the Cupola observation post and the structure for the Columbus lab. In addition, we built all pressurized modules for the ATV resupply vessels used in the past, and the current Cygnus. These spacecraft ferry food and water, fuel, spare parts, all types of equipment and scientific experiments to the different crews.

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© Axiom Space

Because of this expertise, unrivaled in Europe, we were chosen by ESA as prime contractor for two pressurized modules in the Lunar Gateway, ESPRIT and I-HAB, and we also build the HALO pressurized module for Northrop Grumman. At the same time, Thales Alenia Space was chosen by Axiom Space to supply two pressurized modules for their commercial space station – with interiors designed by Philippe Starck! We also supplied the shell for the Bishop airlock from NanoRacks, the first commercial module of this type, which was mated to the ISS in December 2020. Building on this string of successes and our complementary solutions, Thales Alenia Space has become the world leader in orbital infrastructures and a pivotal player in new lunar exploration initiatives.


Environmental monitoring satellites to safeguard our planet​


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Copernicus © Thales Alenia Space

Thales Alenia Space is working hand in hand with the European Space Agency on the European Commission’s Copernicus environmental monitoring program, which encompasses 12 Sentinel satellite families developed by Europe’s space industry for ESA.


Sentinel-1 monitors land and sea in all weather conditions, day and night, with its radar capabilities; Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-3 acquire optical imagery at high resolution over land and coastal waters; Sentinel-4 and Sentinel-5 are dedicated to meteorology and climatology missions; and Sentinel-6 monitors the planet’s oceans. Thales Alenia Space is prime contractor for Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-3, in charge of the Sentinel-2 image ground segment and contributes to the imager-spectrometer on Sentinel-5P and the Poseidon-4 radar altimeter for Sentinel-6.

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CO2M © OHB

We were also chosen for five of the six new Copernicus Expansion missions, three as prime contractor—CIMR, ROSE-L and CHIME—and payload supplier on two other missions—CO2M and CRISTAL. These new satellites will measure human-induced carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere, gauge the thickness of ice fields and snow cover, support advanced new services for the sustainable management of agriculture and biodiversity, observe sea-surface temperature and salinity and the density of ice fields, and bolster land-monitoring and emergency management services. All in all, we are involved in 11 of the 12 Copernicus missions. Thales Alenia Space teams in the UK are involved in CO2M mission that is the one measuring human-induced carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere.

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MicroCarb © Thales Alenia Space

Thales Alenia Space in the UK is also involved in the assembly, integration and tests for MicroCarb; a joint UK-French satellite mission, to monitor source and sinks of carbon.


The company has also always been an industrial pioneer in the field of geostationary weather satellites, as prime contractor for all Meteosat European satellites, including the third generation, MTG. MTG includes 4 imaging and 2 sounding satellites. First imaging satellite will be launched by the end of the year, same as SWOT, the French-American satellite that will revolutionize modern oceanography.

A new era of telecommunications satellites


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Space INSPIRE © Thales Alenia Space

Thales Alenia Space in the UK teams are in charge of the design and Assembly, Integration and Tests related to the electrical propulsion sub-systems embarked both on our Spacebus NEO and Space INSPIRE satellites. This is real pride in the UK as both solutions have been really successful over the last decade. The company was awarded 13 satellites, based on one of the electrical platforms, 8 Spacebus NEO and 5 Space INSPIRE satellites.

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EUTELSAT KONNECT VHTS © Thales Alenia Space/Imag[IN]

Our latest Spacebus NEO satellite, EUTELSAT KONNECT VHTS, will be launched in less than 2 months by Arianespace, from French Guyana. This is the most capacitive satellite ever built in Europe. Eutelsat’s satellite will provide high speed Internet over Europe and contribute to bridging the digital divide in the region, covering isolated areas with a fiber-like level of performances. Concerning Space INSPIRE, this software-defined, highly flexible solution is super agile, as it is fully reprogrammable in orbit. This latest solution has been very successful since late 2021 as the company was ordered 5 Space INSPIRE satellites in a row by top operators including SES, Intelsat and Arabsat. Over 2021 and 2022, Thales Alenia Space has been leading the telecommunications market.

 

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Farnborough 2022: Lockheed Martin delivers LANCE airborne directed-energy weapon to US Air Force Research Laboratory​


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Rendering of an airborne tactical laser weapon. (Photo: Lockheed Martin)

The new LANCE airborne directed-energy weapon features far better SWaP characteristics than a solution Lockheed Martin provided for the US Army five years ago.

Lockheed Martin has completed acceptance testing and delivered a low-SWaP airborne directed-energy weapon to the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in Q1 2022.


Lockheed Martin revealed the news during a press briefing about its laser directed-energy weapons portfolio ahead of the Farnborough Air Show.


The system would give fighter aircraft a means of defending themselves from aerial missile threats.


Lockheed Martin advanced product solutions strategy and business development director Tyler Griffin told reporters that the Laser Enhancements for Next-Generation Compact Environments (LANCE) high-energy laser is the smallest and lightest laser of its power level built by the company to date.


Lockheed Martin received the LANCE contract as part of the US AFRL's Self-protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator (SHiELD) programme to demonstrate an aircraft pod-directed energy laser system for defence against surface-to-air (SAM) and air-to-air missiles.

The company stated that LANCE represents a critical component in developing airborne laser weapon systems.


Griffin described how LANCE demonstrated Lockheed Martin's ability to deliver a high-energy laser with the level of ruggedisation and power density required to enable tactical deployment of an airborne laser weapon.


He explained that LANCE was one-sixth the size of a system Lockheed Martin built for the US Army in 2017 under the Robust Electric Laser Initiative (RELI) effort.


'It [LANCE] highlights Lockheed Martin continuing along a technology roadmap and progressing into the five to 10 kilogramme per kilowatt range in the near future to enable employment on these tactical aircraft.' Griffin added.


LANCE is one of three SHiELD components, the others being the SHiELD Turret Research in Aero Effects (STRAFE) beam control system and the Laser Pod Research & Development (LPRD) tactical fighter jet mounted pod to power and cool the laser.

 

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Bird Aerosystems Expands Use of Missile-protection Technology​


Bird Aerosystems has completed installation of its Airborne Missile Protection and Verification System (AMPS-MV) on UN Air Operations Mil Mi-17 helicopters deployed in Africa. Bird’s technology protects fleets, armored vehicles, and other ground assets of various governments and related agencies, such as the United Nations (UN), U.S. government, and NATO forces. In recent years, Bird accomplished successful installations on other UN Air Operations aircraft flying in regions that include Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia.
The AMPS-MV is deployed in areas of conflict, providing protection for military and civilian aircraft against the growing threat of ground-to-air missiles (man-portable air-defense systems). Bird’s technology detects, verifies, and foils surface-to-air missiles with decoys such as chaff and flares as well as directional infrared countermeasures that jam the missile’s infrared seeker.
Bird’s AMPS-MV includes the company's patented Missile Approach Confirmation Sensor, which confirms suspected incoming missiles detected by electro-optical passive sensors, ensuring that the system will declare and react upon only real threats.
Ronen Factor, Bird co-CEO and founder, emphasized the importance of providing the highest level of protection given current global hostilities. “As the recent conflict in Ukraine showed us, the importance of these systems for the protection of soldiers’ lives is undoubted,” he said.

 

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Northrop Grumman and Boom team up for supersonic military transports​


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Artist's rendering of the Overture supersonic airliner
Northtrop Grumman

The first of the next generation of civilian supersonic flight is yet to arrive, but military variants are already being considered. Northrop Grumman and Boom Supersonic signed an agreement at the Farnborough International Air Show to develop special quick-reaction mission variants of Boom’s Overture supersonic aircraft.

When the last Concorde supersonic passenger liner made its final flight in 2003, the aerospace sector flew into a technological hiatus not seen since the end of the Apollo missions. As the Anglo-French aircraft touched the tarmac for the last time, the world lost an entire class of capability, which was the ability to fly passengers and cargo in sustained flight across intercontinental distances at well over the speed of sound.

Supersonics, which is working on its 200-ft (71-m) long Overture supersonic liner capable of carrying up to 80 passengers at speeds of Mach 1.7 over water and Mach 0.94 over land. This would be twice the speed of conventional airliners, allowing for flights of four and a half hours from Tokyo to Seattle.

 
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