Artist rendering of the KA-SAT satellite
|Launch mass||6,150 kilograms (13,560 lb)|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||26 December 2010|
|Launch site||Baikonur 200/39|
KA-SAT is a high throughput telecommunications satellite owned by Eutelsat. The satellite provides broadband Internet access services across Europe and also a small area of the Middle East. It is positioned at 9°E, joining Eurobird 9A Ku band satellite. KA-SAT was manufactured by EADS Astrium, based on the Eurostar E3000 platform, with a total weight of 6 tons. It was launched by Proton in December 2010. The satellite is named after the Ka band frequency, which is used on the spacecraft.
The spacecraft is equipped with four multi-feed deployable antennas with enhanced pointing accuracy and a high efficiency repeater. It is configured with 82 spotbeams, making it the most advanced multi-spot satellite designed in the world to date. Each spotbeam is associated with a 237 MHz wide transponder, allowing a data bit rate througput of 475 Mbit/s per spot.
The spacecraft power is about 14 kW, the payload DC power is 11 kW. The solar array power provides up to 16 kW. The payload mass is about 1000 kg, the dry mass is about 3170 kg, the launch mass was 6100 kg. The manoeuvre lifetime in orbit is estimated to 16 years.
The broadband Internet access service
According to Eutelsat, KA-SAT will be able to provide broadband Internet access to potentially more than one million homes. The company invested about €350 million in the program, including the satellite manufacturing and launch.
KA-SAT features high level of frequency reuse enabling the system to achieve a total capacity of more than 90 Gbit/s. It represents 38 times the capacity of a standard telecommunication satellite operating in Ku band. The introduction of KA-SAT has tripled the total capacity commercialized by Eutelsat.
The satellite operates in conjunction with ten terrestrial teleports (two of them as a backup) providing Internet gateway services, parts of the Eutelsat's Tooway service, all of them linked by the "KA-SAT ring", a terrestrial telecommunication high-speed network. The service is centrally operated from the Skylogic's NOC based in Torino (Italy) (Skylogic is a subsidiary of Eutelsat).
The data communications used on the KA-SAT satellite are transmitted to and from equipments manufactured by ViaSat:
- in the Eutelsat's teleports (Internet gateways), the ViaSat "SurfBeam 2" hub system;
- at the customer site, the ViaSat "SurfBeam 2" modem as a customer-premises equipment.
"SurfBeam 2" is a modified version of the DOCSIS protocol adapted by ViaSat Inc. to the satellite physical link and adopts most recent technology for modulation on the forward channel, i.e. DVB-S2, and channel access method, i.e. MF-TDMA (Multi Frequency-TDMA).
Saorsat in Ireland
2rn formerly known as RTÉNL run a free to air digital TV service in Ireland branded as Saorsat. Saorsat provides mostly non-commercial TV channels from Saorview for the island of Ireland only. Saorsat was developed by RTÉNL to allow free to air satellite TV broadcasts of Irish TV channels, yet minimise overspill to Britain and mainland Europe to ensure that Irish communities abroad could not watch Irish TV.
- "KA-SAT Mission Overview". International Launch Services. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 December 2010.
- Jonathan Amos (26 December 2010). "Ka-Sat net-dedicated spacecraft lifts off". BBC News.
- Yang Lina (27 December 2010). "Russia puts European satellite into orbit". Xinhua News Agency.
- "Eutelsat to Drive Satellite Broadband to New Frontiers with First Full Ka-Band Satellite Infrastructure" (PDF) (Press release). Eutelsat. 7 January 2008. Retrieved 29 May 2009.
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