by Staff Writers
Kourou, French Guiana (ESA) Dec 09, 2016
Launch preparation activity is underway for Arianespace's initial mission in 2017, with an all-new type of telecommunications satellite now delivered to the Spaceport for liftoff on a Soyuz launcher from French Guiana in January.
Arriving aboard a chartered Antonov An-124 cargo jetliner was Hispasat 36W-1, the first satellite based on the SmallGEO platform developed under the European Space Agency's Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) program.
The aircraft touched down earlier this month at Felix Eboue International Airport near French Guiana's capital city of Cayenne. The spacecraft was unloaded and transferred by road to the Spaceport launch base, where it is undergoing initial checkout in the S1B payload preparation facility.
Once orbited by Arianespace, Hispasat 36W-1 will be operated by Hispasat - a world leader in Spanish and Portuguese broadcasting.
Conventional and new technologies on Hispasat 36W-1
Germany's OHB System AG designed and built the three-metric-ton Hispasat 36W-1, and its delivery to French Guiana marked the completion of a nearly eight-year development effort for the SmallGEO platform.
Hispasat 36W-1 is equipped with a conventional commercial relay payload of 20 Ku-band transponders, along with three Ka-band transponders developed by TESAT Spacecom under funding from the DLR German Aerospace Center.
Also integrated on the satellite is a new-generation active antenna that receives and reconfigures radio frequency beams over the Earth's visible disc. This Redsat payload and its onboard processor will enable Hispasat to provide more flexible multimedia and broadcasting services over the Americas, Europe and the Canary Islands.
The condosat is scheduled to be launched from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana in mid-2017.
The condosat was originally scheduled for launch with SpaceX. However, following the delay in SpaceX's launch schedule, Inmarsat and Hellas-Sat took the decision to move the condosat to an Arianespace launch.
Inmarsat will launch Inmarsat-5 F4, a Global Xpress (GX) satellite, with SpaceX. This launch is planned for H1 2017 and Inmarsat is looking forward to continuing to work with SpaceX going forward.
"We are delighted with flexibility that Arianespace has shown in being able to provide a launch slot that enables us to place our European Aviation Network S-band satellite in orbit by mid-2017," said Michele Franci, CTO, Inmarsat.
"This launch schedule supports the introduction of our ground-breaking integrated satellite and air-to-ground network, developed by Inmarsat and Deutsche Telekom, which will deliver a very high capacity broadband Wi-Fi experience for passengers flying throughout Europe."
Rocket Science News at Space-Travel.Com
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