Es’HailSat Solicits Bids for Second Satellite

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TURIN, Italy — Es’hailSat of Qatar on March 20 issued a request for bids for the Es’hail 2 satellite, which will carry a mixed Ku- and Ka-band payload as well as a payload for amateur radio enthusiasts connecting Brazil and India.

Es’hail 2 will operate at 26 degrees east using Ku-band frequencies that Es’hailSat acquired from its neighbor and sometime rival, the Arabsat consortium of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Es’hailSat said manufacturer responses to what it said will be “a full and open competition” are due by April 30. The company hopes to select a contractor this summer and to have Es’hail 2 in orbit by late 2016.

Like Es’hail 1, which co-owner Eutelsat of Paris calls Eutelsat 25B, Es’hail 2 is expected to carry software to mitigate interference, which has been a problem in the Middle East in recent years.

In a statement, Es’hailSat said Es’hail 2’s amateur radio payload “will provide the first Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT) geostationary communication capability that links Brazil to India in one single hop and in real-time. It will allow the AMSAT community to validate and demonstrate their DVB [digital video broadcasting] standard.”

The Es’hailSat bid request comes just a week after Arabsat issued its own four-satellite request for proposals, for two Arabsat satellites and two satellites to be operated by the Arabsat-owned Hellas Sat company of Greece.