For its first launch of 2018, Arianespace will use an Ariane 5 from the Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana to launch the SES-14 and Al Yah 3 satellites for operators SES and Yahsat. SES-14 also hosts a payload for NASA’s Explorer program: GOLD (Global-Scale Observation of the Limb and Disk).
The Flight VA241 will be from Ariane Launch Complex No. 3 in Kourou, French Guiana, and liftoff is planned for January 25.
SES-14 will be the 53rd satellite launched by Arianespace for the operator, reaching back to Spacenet 1, orbited in May 1984.
SES-14 is one of the company’s three hybrid satellites, combining wide beams and high throughput spot beams. Its hybrid payload offers both C- and Ku-band wide beams, plus Ku- and Ka-band HTS capacity.
Positioned at 47.5° West, SES-14 will fulfil two primary missions: its C-band wide beams are specifically designed for SES’s expanding cable neighbourhood in Latin America, while its Ku-band HTS spot beams will provide expansion capacity to serve the dynamic aeronautical and maritime markets and other traffic-intensive applications, such as cellular backhaul or broadband delivery services.
SES-14 also carries the Global-Scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD), a hosted payload for NASA, whose goal is to improve the understanding of the thermosphere-ionosphere. GOLD will transmit data from a geostationary orbitat a fast pace, to build up a full-disk view every half hour, providing detailed large-scale measurements of the response of the upper atmosphere to forcing from the Sun, the magnetosphere, and the lower atmosphere.
SES-14 was built by Airbus Defence and Space in its plant in Toulouse, France, using the E3000 EOR platform. It is the 119th satellite from this manufacturer to be launched by Arianespace, and also is the second based on the Eurostar E3000 EOR platform.
Al Yah 3 will be the second satellite launched by Arianespace for Yahsat, following Al Yah 1, launched in 2011.
With the launch of Al Yah 3, Yahsat’s commercial Ka-band coverage will be extended to an additional 20 markets, reaching 60% of Africa’s population and over 95% of Brazil’s population.
Al Yah 3 will be positioned at 20° West Longitude.
The Al Yah 3 satellite carries 53 active Ka-band user beams and four gateway beams, and produces approximately 8.0 kilowatts of payload electrical power. The Ka-band spot beams provide two-way communications services to facilitate high-speed delivery of data to end-user applications such as broadband Internet and corporate networking as well as IP backhaul for telecommunications service providers.
Al Yah 3 was built by Orbital ATK using its new GEOStar-3 hybrid platform, the first application of this platform.