An SES-15 satellite was successfully launched onboard a Soyuz rocket from the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou yesterday, SES’s first satellite to launch on a Soyuz rocket for a geostationary transfer orbit mission, in a boost to global in-flight connectivity and entertainment.
SES-15 carries a hybrid payload, comprising Ku-band wide beams and Ku-band High Throughput Satellite (HTS) capability, with connectivity to gateways in Ka-band. SES’s first hybrid satellite will be located at the orbital position of 129 degrees West and is equipped with 16 Ku-band transponders (36 MHz equivalent) as well as HTS capabilities to serve North America, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.
The satellite’s high throughput payload will deliver optimised and flexible coverage for major global inflight connectivity and entertainment (IFC/IFE) service providers, such as Global Eagle Entertainment, Gogo and Panasonic Avionics. In addition, SES-15 has a dedicated wide beam that is designed to enable IFC/IFE providers to deliver live TV content on all flight routes across the US, including Hawaii and Alaska, as well as Canada, the Caribbean and Mexico. This combination of beams allows IFC/IFE providers to optimise HTS capacity use for internet traffic and wide beam coverage for broadcast content.
The satellite will also enable VSAT networks and other traffic intensive data applications in the government and maritime sectors.
SES-15 will also carry a Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) hosted payload, which will enable the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to augment the Global Positioning Systems (GPS) with the goal of improving accuracy, integrity and availability of the system for the aviation industry.
The satellite is equipped with an electric propulsion system for orbit-raising and in-orbit manoeuvres.
“The successful launch of SES-15 is the first of our three planned hybrid satellites, which have both wide beams and high throughput capability. SES-15, along with the soon-to-be launched SES-14 hybrid satellite, and our existing in-orbit satellites, offer the most resilient aeronautical connectivity platform in North America,” said Martin Halliwell, chief technology officer at SES. “SES-15 will allow us to strengthen our ability to provide next generation services in data-intensive markets such as maritime and corporate broadband.”
“SES is a long-standing partner, and we are delighted to be part of its important journey in serving the ever-growing aeronautical and data markets by successfully launching SES-15 on a Soyuz rocket,” said Stephane Israël, CEO at Arianespace.