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NewSat’s Jabiru-1 satellite will be featuring Astrium-built Ku-band receivers and Ka-band beacons.
Astrium secured a milestone contract with Lockheed Martin to build telecommunications parts for the Australian satellite platform. It is the first such contract for Lockheed Martin, which is manufacturing the Jabiru platform for Australian satellite services company NewSat.
Astrium will also build the Ariane-5 heavy lifter rocket that will launched Jabiru-1 in late 2014.
Last December, Astrium snatched up a contract to build and deliver a very precise Fiber Optic Gyro Unit (Astrix) for the NASA/NOAA Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) mission. Astrium subsidiaries Tesat, Jena-Optronik, and Dutch Space regularly supply equipment to U.S. prime contractors.
Jabiru-1 is designed for a minimum lifetime of 15 years. It will be placed in geostationary orbit over the Indian Ocean. Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Somalia will be among the countries served by the American-built, Australian-operated telecommunications satellite.
The Astrium-built equipment commissioned by Lockheed Martin incorporate technologies drawn from the Generic Flexible Payload (GFP) program of the U.K. Space Agency (UKSA) and the European Space Agency (ESA). The Ku-band communications receivers will recover the very low power uplink signals from ground. They will also isolate frequency domains between the uplink and downlink signals to ensure the absence of interference. Meanwhile, the Ka-band beacons will generate a signal that ground antennas can detect and track.
Astrium will deliver the satellite communications parts to Lockheed Martin within the first half of 2013.
There is one issue that refuses to go away for the satellite industry. It is the C band interference.
ABS’s Chief Operating Officer Scott Sprague said “C band Wi-max issues and interference are always a worry.” He said that the satellite is used for lifeline-like services and then there is also the economic impact.
SES World Skies’s Senior Vice-President Deepak Mathur at SES agreed: “C band is an enormous issue and will be an ongoing issue. We have to remember 98% of video content in Asia is delivered by C band.”
The C band is the name given to certain portions of the electromagnetic spectrum which includes wavelengths of microwaves that are used for long distance radio telecommunications. The IEEE C band (4 GHz to 8 GHz) and its slight variations contains frequency ranges that are used for many satellite communications transmissions, some WiFi devices, some cordless telephones, and some weather radar systems.
The microwave frequencies of this band perform better under adverse weather conditions in comparison with others, especially Ku band (11.2 GHz tyo 14.5 GHz) microwave frequencies which are used by another large set of communication satellites. The adverse weather conditions, collectively referred to a rain fade, all have to do with moisture in the air, including rain and snow.
“Are the Americas a key growth area for NewSat, and what is in store for NewSat for the rest of 2012?”
The line above is a question asked by Milsatmagazine (MSM) on an interview with Diego Paldao, NewSat’s Senior Director-Americas. He said that the Americas region will certainly benefit from NewSat’s global plans as they are planning to expand their presence in the region to support the growing demand from clients based in the Americas in general, and specifically the United States.
“NewSat has tremendous flexibility today in structuring agreements that help our clients start a new business or service so that we can grow together. Clients serving a growing market such as Latin America can certainly benefit from our partnership approach,” Paldao said.
According to him, it is a very exciting time for NewSat: Lockheed Martin is several months into the build of Jabiru-1 and Jabiru-2, a hosted payload with MEASAT and will launch next year; and further satellites like Jabiru-3, Jabiru-4, and Jabiru-5 are being designed and are well underway to determining the best use of their remaining orbiting slots.
NewSat is to date the largest independent provider of satellite communications/communications satellite (COMSAT) or artificial satellite stationed in space for the purpose of telecommunications in the Commonwealth of Australia, a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
Newsat provides coverage to 75.5% of the Earth’s surface, including their satellites, VSATs (very small aperture terminals), a two-way satellite ground station or a stabilized maritime VSAT antenna with a dish antenna that is smaller than three meters, and teleports (telecommunications port), a satellite ground station with multiple parabolic antennas (i.e., an antenna farm) that functions as a hub connecting a satellite or geocentric orbital network with a terrestrial telecommunications network.
Greek company Hellas Sat came to an agreement with the government of Cyprus and secured rights to another 20 years’ use of the 39 degrees east longitude orbital slot.
In a July 3 statement, Hellas Sat said it signed a final agreement with Cyprus the day before. The Athens-based company would receive access to the orbital slot and its International Telecommunication Union-assigned frequencies until 2041.
The Greek company plans to use the additional activated spectrum for new satellite services that will broaden its commercial operations. The long-term agreement would also allow for a possible replacement of Hellas Sat 2 once it reached the end of its operating life.
The agreement may finally jumpstart the long-awaited sale of Hellas Sat. The company’s owner, Greek telecommunications operator OTE, had made it known for a long while now that it was willing to sell Hellas Sat so that OTE could focus on its core telecommunications business. Luxembourg-based satellite fleet operator SES was one of the companies that professed interest in procuring Hellas Sat and its orbital slot.
Placed in orbit on May 2003, Hellas Sat 2 is a Astrium Eurostar E2000+ model with 30 active Ku-band transponders and eight spares. The telecommunications satellite provides satellite broadband, Internet, radio, and TV services. It generated 32.8 million euros ($42 million) of revenue in 2011.
Hellas Sat stated that 96% of the satellite’s capacity was already filled. The company did not disclose the total amount of bandwidth now available after Hellas Sat 2 gained additional broadcast frequencies.
NewSat is the largest independent satellite communications provider in Australia. Diego Paldao, NewSat’s Senior Director-Americas, talks about the company’s Jabiru-1 project on a Milsatmagazine (MSM) article.
Paldao said that the Jabiru-1 satellite will deliver high-powered Ka-band coverage all over the Middle East, Asia and Africa (MENA Region) through its 7.6 GHz of “new” capacity. This will surely satisfy the demands from government, energy and carrier grade telecommunications markets in these “developing” areas.
The Jabiru-1 satellite is the company’s first geostationary (GEO) satellite dedicated to focus on Ka-band, with its complex design that provides the greatest flexibility to their clients/consumers. A combination of multispot, regional and steerable beams provides maximum options to accommodate client requirements. This satellite require customers a more complex and larger satellite design which takes longer to build that will be launched by Arianespace, one of the best launchers in the satellite industry.
Padlao said they believe that Jabiru-1 is “a great transition satellite because it looks like a Ku-Band satellite in its design as well as offering a range of beams, but it makes use of a less congested frequency band.” Jabiru-1’s design, in particular, is appealing as it will have both commercial and military frequencies available on most beams.
“NewSat will launch additional Ka-band satellites following Jabiru-1, expanding our fleet to provide coverage over Europe and the Americas,” added Padlao.
See: VSAT Services