Sci-tech

Boeing to Help SES Build 7 Medium Earth Orbit Satellites

Boeing to Help SES Build 7 Medium Earth Orbit Satellites”

The satellites are created to be launched up to four at a time in a stacked configuration, depending on the selected launch vehicle.

Boeing is to design and build seven super-powered medium earth orbit (MEO) satellites for SES, delivering efficient high-performance data communications services to users around the world.

The O3b mPOWER satellites will include Boeing's most-advanced digital payload technology and will be built using electronics from the flight-proven 702 satellite platform customized to support the unique MEO environment. Last year, SES took over majority ownership of O3b Networks, which now has 12 first-generation satellites in a 5,000-mile-high orbit.

O3b is already providing satellite data services for ships at sea as well as exotic parts of the world ranging from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the Southeast Asian nation of Timor-Leste and the Cook Islands. They are built by Thales Alenia Space, have a mass of approximately 700 kilogram at lift-off and provide each a capacity of more than 10 Gigabits per second. SES's MEO system will be fully integrated into its large fleet in Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO). "Our commitment to Arianespace also underscores that SES continues to play a major role for the European space industry". "SES' continued trust in Arianespace is a clear demonstration that our Ariane 5 heavy-lift launcher is keeping pace with these changing technologies, prior to the advent of our new-generation Ariane 6 launch vehicle - for which discussions are underway to serve future SES missions", Arianespace Chief Executive Stéphane Israël said in a statement on the SES-17 contract. The first 12 O3b satellites launched on Soyuz rockets in 2013 and 2014, with a fourth set of four due to launch in 2018, also on a Soyuz.

The 20 O3b satellites that SES Networks positions and operates in MEO, almost 8,000 kilometres above the Earth, form the first strong building block of a high-power, high-throughput fleet, SES said in a press release.



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