SES has wrapped the performance tests for its SES-17 craft at the Thales Alenia Space facility in Cannes and the satellite is now being prepared for the September 22nd flight to the Arianespace launch site in French Guiana.
Launch date is currently set as October 22nd although weather and last-minute technology problems might delay the timing. This latest satellite is the most advanced and versatile in the SES fleet.
“SES-17 features almost 200 spot beams, the power of which can be dynamically adjusted in step with our customers’ changing requirements. It is also our first satellite to have a totally digital payload, powered by an advanced digital transparent processor (DTP), enabling far greater flexibility and efficiency than previously available,” stated SES.
“SES-17 is a very high-throughput satellite in geosynchronous orbit, built to serve North America, South America, the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean with Ka-band coverage. It will address demands for high-speed and flexible data connectivity across aviation, maritime, enterprise and government segments, advancing the region’s digitization objectives and helping to bridge the digital divide. For commercial aviation, SES is proud to partner with its anchor customer, Thales Avionics,” added SES.
“The launch of SES-17 will mark the first step in the integration of our multi-orbit GEO-MEO fleet to create a truly inter-operable network. SES-17 and O3b mPOWER – our next-generation Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) constellation – both use our Automatic Resource Controller (ARC) software. The ARC has been designed specifically to leverage the flexibility of digital payloads, concentrating power in specific beams as and when needed. In addition, traffic will be seamlessly switched between SES-17 and O3b mPOWER, if a particular customer application in a certain segment demands lower latency. Cruise customers will be the first segment to take advantage of this,” stated SES.
In additional action, Scottish landowner and billionaire Anders Povlsen stated he will not appeal against the recent decision allowing the construction of a Spaceport in Sutherland, Scotland, on the A’Mhoine peninsula.
Povlsen, reportedly Scotland’s richest man, had already mounted a legal objection to the scheme; however, a Scottish judicial review ruled against him last month and the country’s Highland Council is also firmly supporting the development of the Spaceport.
Povlsen’s local business, Wildland, said it was “deeply disappointed” by the decision.
Chief executive, Tim Kirkwood, said, “Although we were deeply disappointed at the outcome of the judicial review for the A’Mhoine spaceport and felt that a justifiable case was presented to the court, we have decided that proceeding to appeal isn’t the way forward. There remain deep reservations that additional, space-related development consents will be sought in connection with Space Hub Sutherland. We are still concerned that those objectives will be very difficult to meet in practice, the best course of action is that we work constructively with all stakeholders to make sure commitments made in connection with the development as consented, are kept or even exceeded.”