NEW YORK — Fleet operator Telesat, which decided earlier this year to place an X-band payload on its next satellite without a guaranteed customer, has sold the X-band capacity to Paradigm Services of Europe for the satellite’s full 15-year service life, the companies announced Oct. 13.
Planned for launch in 2012 for operation at 107.3 degrees west longitude, the Anik G1 satellite’s main mission is to provide commercial telecommunications with 16 extended-Ku-band transponders for Canada, and 24 C-band and 12 Ku-band transponders dedicated to South America.
The X-band payload to be operated by Paradigm will provide coverage in the Pacific Ocean region as far west as Hawaii. The three-channel, wide-beam X-band payload also will cover the North American and South American landmass.
“For the first time, Canadian Department of National Defence and U.S. Department of Defense users will be able to procure Pacific and Atlantic X-band capacity from the same source through our one-stop-shop approach,” Astrium Services Chief Executive Eric Beranger said in an Oct. 13 statement. Astrium Services, owned by European aerospace manufacturer EADS, owns Paradigm.
Telesat’s announcement earlier this year to place an X-band payload on Anik G1 was viewed as daring because there appeared to be no guarantee that any customer would turn up.
Astrium Services and Paradigm operate Britain’s Skynet military telecommunications satellites under a $6 billion services contract that runs through 2022. Astrium and Paradigm own the Skynet spacecraft and are free to market surplus capacity not needed by the British Defence Ministry to other customers.
Astrium and Paradigm said the Anik G1 X-band payload’s beam will have a performance comparable to the Skynet 5 satellites “and will enhance Paradigm Services’ existing X-band capability to provide coverage in areas that were previously unsupported. … The characteristics of the X-band frequency make it the ideal choice for naval platforms, allowing high data throughput with lower rain-fade margins compared with Ku or Ka-band.”
The Telesat payload is also NATO-compatible, Paradigm said. It will enter service at about the same time as Skynet 5D, the fourth satellite built for Astrium Services under the British Defence Ministry contract.