AsiaSat of Hong Kong is ordering its 9th communications satellite, and bizarrely it might even carry a weather sensor to the craft’s payload. Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) gets the order that will have Ku, Ka and C-Band transponders for the $164 million satellite that will eventually replace AsiaSat-4 in mid-2016.
The weather portion of the satellite is yet to be confirmed but AsiaSat now has 120 days in which to decide whether to carry this “hosted payload” in the shape of a hyperspectral weather sensor, called Storm-1, which would be provided by GeoMetWatch (GMW) of Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
AsiaSat and GMW have yet to reach agreement on the financial and technical details, but the 120 days time limit is so that SS/L can plan the integration of Storm-1 into the satellite.
AsiaSat-9 will go to 122 degrees East. SS/L, which is now a subsidiary of Canada’s MDA Corp., is already building AsiaSat-6 and AsiaSat-8, both of which are scheduled to be launched in 2014.