Canada’s Telesat is ordering two LEO (Low Earth Orbiting) satellites. Space Systems Loral will supply one and the UK’s Surrey Satellite Technology (part of the Airbus Group) the other. Both should be in orbit by mid-to-late 2017.
Telesat describes the spacecraft as ‘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 optimising the design and performance of Telesat’s contemplated LEO constellation,” says a Telesat statement on April 27th.
The two satellites will operate in the Ka-band.
“Telesat is proud of our long and distinguished record of satellite innovation, including technical breakthroughs that have enabled our customers to realise significant gains in broadband performance,” said Dave Wendling, Telesat’s CTO. “Our Anik F2 satellite was the first to provide Ka-band high throughput satellite capacity. We are now developing a global constellation of advanced, high throughput LEO satellites operating in Ka-band, which we believe will offer a number of important advantages for the global delivery of high capacity broadband services. The Telesat team looks forward to working with SSL and SSTL to validate and demonstrate key parameters of our contemplated next generation satellite network as well as with other technology partners as we move forward with our plans.”