JOPLIN, Mo., 22 April 2009. EaglePicher Technologies, LLC, an EaglePicher company and producer of batteries and energetic devices for the defense, space, and commercial industries, is supplying its nickel hydrogen batteries to Thales Alenia Space in support of the Italian Ministry of Defence's SICRAL 1B program. The military satellite was launched from an equatorial launch site at 154 degrees West Longitude.
The 92Ah batteries from EaglePicher will power the communications satellite during eclipse for an expected operational life of 13 years. The SICRAL 1B will ensure strategic and tactical communications on Italian and foreign territories, as well as mobile communications between terrestrial, naval, and air platforms. It will also provide UHF and SHF band satellite capacities to NATO forces, says a representative.
EaglePicher supplied nickel hydrogen batteries to the previous SICRAL program, SICRAL 1, which launched in February 2001 as Italy's first military communications satellite. The program is scheduled to be replaced by SICRAL 2 in 2012.
EaglePicher's nickel hydrogen batteries and cells have powered more than 440 space missions, including the Hubble Space Telescope where the batteries have lasted four times longer than the projected lifespan. In addition to Hubble, EaglePicher batteries and cells have supported the International Space Station, Lunar Rover, Apollo, Gemini, and Mercury.