Satnews Daily
December 16th, 2012

HISPASAT... Entering The Final Phase... (Satellite)

[SatNews] The Amazonas 3 telecommunications satellite, with a launch date forecast for early next year from Kourou (French Guiana), is in the... phase of its construction process at Space Systems/Loral in Palo Alto, California. After more than two years since the beginning of the program, the new satellite, the tenth that HISPASAT puts into orbit, has completed its initial integration phase, as well as most of its functional tests, during which it must withstand the extreme conditions it will be exposed to in space.

The Amazonas 3 successfully passed the tests that have been carried out with the goal of verifying that the satellite will be capable of operating correctly in its geostationary orbit at 36,000 kilometers from Earth. It has been thermal vacuum tested to prove that it can function at exterior temperatures that can oscillate from -170º C to 125º C, as well as for mechanical vibration, which confirms that the satellite is prepared to survive the launch. All of the subsystems of the platform and the satellite´s payload have been submitted to rigorous verification. Once the testing process is completed, the Amazonas 3 will be sent to French Guiana to be launched on board an Ariane 5 ECA at the beginning of 2013.

The satellite, based on a LS1300 platform by Space Systems/Loral, has a launch mass of 6.2 tons, a wingspan of more than 26 meters and a height of 8 meters, six antennas (four deployable), a horn for transmitting telemetry and beacon signals for pointing from Earth. At the end of its lifespan it will generate more than 14 kW of power. From the 61 degrees West orbital position, the satellite will offer coverage to the entire American continent, Europe and North Africa during its more than 15 year lifespan. It has 52 transponders, simultaneous in Ku- and C-bands, as well as various beams in Ka-band, making it the first satellite to operate Ka band for Latin America.

The novel Ka-band payload of Amazonas 3 positions the HISPASAT Group as the first operator in Latin America that can offer interactive services and multimedia applications via satellite to a large number of users, allowing access to such services to be offered to most of the population. In this way, the Amazonas 3 satellite, apart from providing continuity for the services currently offered by the HISPASAT Group from the 61 degrees West orbital position, will contribute to the universalization of Internet access in the region, which represents an important advance in reducing the digital gap in Latin America.

In addition, the Amazonas 3 offers other services via satellite, such as the broadcast of television platforms, the deployment of corporate fixed and mobile telephone networks or tele-education and tele-medicine, broadband without geographic limitations or integrated communications solutions for telecommunications operators. In its role as driver to the Spanish aerospace industry, the HISPASAT Group counted on the important contribution of various national companies for the construction of the Amazonas 3:

    EADS CASA: Antennas en Ku band (2 deployable and 2 fixed) and Ka band (deployable)
    Thales Alenia Space España: Transmitter beacon, IMUX in Ku- and C- -bands and telemetry transmitters in Ku-band
    RYMSA: RF filters, hybrids, RF couplers and adaptors in Ku, C and Ka bands
    MIER: Power dividers
    GMV: Satellite control systems from Earth and dynamic orbit
    Indra: Satellite control Ground Segment
    INSA: Canary Islands control stationx