[Satellite TODAY Insider 07-11-12] European satellite operator SES’ new SES-5 spacecraft, launched earlier this week on an ILS Proton Breeze M rocket, aims to serve as a valuable cornerstone in the operator’s strategy to provide a greater variety of services to Africa, the Middle East and Europe.
The new Space Systems/Loral-built (SS/L) satellite not only features 36 active Ku-band transponders and up to 24 active C-band transponders, but also the L-band payload for the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS), which was developed for the European Commission (EC), as well as Ka-band uplink capability to allow for flexible operations between Europe and Africa.
SES-5, which will be positioned at the 5 degrees East orbital slot, marks the second successful ILS-Proton launch in 2012 for SES and the third SES satellite delivered by Space Systems/Loral in the last 10 months. The launch of the spacecraft experienced minor delays due to technical issues discovered during launch preparations.
SES President and CEO Romain Bausch said his company designed SES-5 to deliver high-performance and extensive coverage for Direct-to-Home (DTH) services, broadband, maritime communications, GSM backhaul and VSAT applications in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
“SES-5 enters the global SES fleet as number 51. We would like to thank the launch teams of SS/L, ILS, Khrunichev and SES for their dedicated work that ultimately ensured total mission success. We would also like to thank the European Commission for entrusting SES with the EGNOS hosted payload. After thorough in-orbit testing, SES and its customers can now look forward to SES-5 providing new, state-of-the-art satellite capacity across Europe, Africa and the Middle East,” Bausch said in a statement.
The EGNOS project represents billions of dollars in European civil space efforts. The European Union budget will finance its Galileo global positioning constellation and EGNOS with 3.4 billion euros ($4.57 billion) through 2013. It is estimated that 1.9 billion euros ($2.56 billion) will be necessary to complete the Galileo infrastructure from 2014 to 2020, bringing the total cost of Galileo to more than 5 billion euros ($6.73 billion). The operational costs of Galileo and EGNOS together are estimated to be 800 million euros ($1.07 billion) annually.
“This new EGNOS launch demonstrates the commission’s commitment to providing positioning signals with the highest possible accuracy to citizens and businesses in Europe,” EC Vice-President Antonio Tajani said in a statement. “This opens up a multitude of business opportunities, today and in the future, especially when EGNOS will start working with Galileo when Galileo becomes operational in 2014.”