Rendering of O3b satellite coverage areas and visibility around the Equator.
|Dry mass||700 kg|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||June 25, 2013|
|Repeat interval||5 daily|
The O3b Satellite Constellation is a satellite constellation designed for telecommunications and data backhaul from remote locations. The first four satellites were launched on 25 June 2013, and eight more in 2014. There are plans to extend this to twenty satellites.
The satellites were deployed in a circular orbit along the equator at an altitude of 8063 km (medium Earth orbit) at a velocity of approximately 11,755 mph (18,918 km/h), each making 4 orbits a day. The constellation currently has twelve satellites operational in orbit, after three launches of four satellites each. Due to problems with a component of the first four satellites launched, three of those four have been placed on standby for the other three, so nine are used operationally.
Each satellite is equipped with twelve fully steerable Ka band antennas (two beams for gateways, ten beams for remotes) that use 4.3 GHz of spectrum (2×216 MHz per beam) with a proposed throughput of 1.6 Gbit/s per beam (800 MBit/s per direction), resulting in a total capacity of 16 GBit/s per satellite. Each beam's footprint measures 700 km in diameter. O3b claims a mouth-to-ear one-way latency of 179 milliseconds for voice communication, and an end-to-end round-trip latency of 140 ms for data services. The maximum throughput per TCP connection is 2.1 Mbit/s. For maritime applications, O3b claims a round-trip latency of 140 ms, and connectivity speeds of over 500 Mbit/s.
The satellites were constructed by Thales Alenia Space, a division of Thales Group. The first satellite (PFM) was built in the Cannes Mandelieu Space Center, while the rest of the constellation was assembled, integrated and tested in Thales Alenia Space Italy's Roman facilities.
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