Telesat has procured two prototype Ka-band satellites for operation in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) that Telesat anticipates launching mid-to-late 2017 as part of a test and validation phase for an advanced, global LEO satellite constellation that Telesat is developing.
Through an authorization issued by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), Telesat has secured priority rights to certain Ka-band spectrum in non-geostationary orbits (NGSO) at the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to operate such a constellation.
Telesat has contracted with Space Systems Loral (SSL) of Palo Alto, California, and Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) for the procurement of the prototypes. By drawing on the advanced technologies and expertise of these leading manufacturers, Telesat will test and demonstrate two distinct spacecraft in LEO, a key step in optimizing the design and performance of Telesat’s contemplated LEO constellation.
With this contract, SSL currently has 21 LEO satellites in production. SSL also has two GEO satellites in production for Telesat.
According to John Celli, the President of SSL, the prototype spacecraft SSL is providing to Telesat demonstrates the versatility of the company's LEO capabilities, and because of the firm's focus on low cost production, a growing range of satellite contracts are now in SSL's "win" column.
Dave Wendling, Telesat’s Chief Technical Officer, offered the fact that the firm's Anik F2 satellite was the first to provide Ka-band high throughput satellite capacity, and that Telesat's global constellation development of advanced, high throughput LEO satellites, which will operate in Ka-band, willo offer a number of important advantages for the global delivery of high capacity broadband services.