Astrium hands over Y1B’s controls to Yahsat in Abu Dhabi

by Staff Reporter | May 16th, 2012

Astrium has successfully completed the launch and early orbit phase operations of the Y1B satellite, conducted from its spacecraft control centre in Toulouse (France), and passed control over to the Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (Yahsat). Astrium and Thales Alenia Space (TAS), co-prime contractors of the Yahsat satellite telecommunications system, will continue to support the Emirati satellite telecommunications operator during payload testing prior to entry into service.

The testing of the satellite platform was completed smoothly and the payload was switched on as planned at the operational position, which means the antenna coverage can now be verified

Astrium took control of Y1B on April 24, upon separation of Proton Breeze M upper stage and injection in geostationary transfer orbit. Following spacecraft initialisation and a series of manoeuvres, the satellite reached geostationary orbit on April 29 and fully deployed its solar panels and four antenna reflectors. The testing of the satellite platform was completed smoothly and the payload was switched on as planned at the operational position, which means the antenna coverage can now be verified.

Astrium officially handed over control of the satellite to Yahsat on May 11. The in-orbit payload tests are conducted under Thales Alenia Space responsibility, prior to entering service in the weeks ahead.

In sending the first command to the satellite on May 13, Yahsat CEO Tareq Abdulraheem Al Hosani said: “I am extremely pleased with all the work carried out by Astrium and Thales Alenia Space in the building and early operations of our second satellite Y1B. Y1A, the first satellite in our fleet, which was launched in 2011, has allowed us to start offering entirely new services to our customers, and we are convinced that the arrival of Y1B will enhance the quality of coverage we provide in our sphere of operations. We know that Astrium and TAS will continue to work by our side and help us oversee the satellite’s latest operations, maintain our network and train our operators.”

Y1B will provide Ka-band communications to its commercial and governmental users in the Middle East, Africa and South-West Asia. Thanks to its Ka-band multi-spot beam technology, Y1B will offer high-speed broadband internet services to its private and institutional customers. In complementing Y1A, the satellite also completes the UAE government’s mission of significantly increasing the country’s total secure communications capacity over the Middle East. With a launch mass of approximately 6,000kg and a spacecraft power of 14kW, Y1B has a lifetime design of more than 15 years.

Like Y1A, Y1B was integrated by Astrium on a Eurostar E3000 platform and tested at its Toulouse site. More than 50 Eurostar satellites have now been launched and have accumulated over 400 years of successful in-orbit operation. Both military and commercial payloads in Ka-band were built by Thales Alenia Space.

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