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Saft lithium-ion battery system to power satellite

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Saft has been selected by AR-SAT SA to supply the lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery system that will power ARSAT-1, the first communications satellite to be designed and integrated in Argentina.

Arsat-1,the first in a series of satellites, is scheduled to be launched in 2012 and will provide coverage for Latin America.

"This is a significant contract for Saft as AR-SAT is a new customer for us that will help establish a foothold in Argentina, which we regard as an important emerging country in the space sector," said Philippe Jehanno, general manager of Saft's space and defence division. "It also provides a great platform for increasing our penetration in Latin-America."

The rechargeable Saft Li-ion battery system will provide reliable onboard power for ARSAT-1, ensuring continuity of service for the two eclipse seasons each year when its solar panels are blocked from the sun.

The ARSAT-1 battery system will feature Saft's Li-ion technology in the form of the new VES 180 cells that offer the highest specific energy (Wh/kg) of any battery chemistry currently available. The VES 180 cells provide an additional 30% of energy (40 Wh), compared to VES 140 cells. This has enabled the ARSAT-1 designers to save weight on the battery so that more of its 400 kg payload can be utilised for revenue earning equipment.

The 4P12S VES180 battery system configuration will provide a nominal 43.8 V and 200 Ah capacity. The VES 180 cells will be manufactured in Saft's industrial factory in Bordeaux, France and integrated into the ARSAT-1 system and tested at Saft's facility In Poitiers, France. Delivery is scheduled for 2011.


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