The much-delayed launch of Avanti Communications’ Hylas 4 satellite took place under flawless conditions at 21.34 GMT on April 5th aboard an Arianespace rocket.
A Japanese satellite (JSAT’s Superbird-8) was also carried aloft in the launch, the third of the year for Arianspace.
There were pre-launch anxieties because the previous Ariane flight had not performed to plan resulting in two satellites placed in less-than-perfect orbits.
Hylas 4, built by Orbital ATK, will supply extra capacity in Ka-band for Avanti and provide connectivity to mobile network operators and Internet providers, and also beam high-speed services to civilian and defense users in Europe and in particular Africa.
“Hylas 4 is extremely important to Avanti,” David Bestwick, Avanti’s CTO, said in remarks after Thursday’s launch. “It more than doubles the communications capacity that we have in orbit, and it completes our coverage of Africa and the Middle East.”
The new spacecraft carries 64 fixed Ka-band beams that can reach Avanti customers in Europe and Africa. Four additional steerable Ka-band beams aboard Hylas 4 can also provide coverage over Europe, Africa and South America.
Hylas 4 will take a couple of weeks to reach a geostationary orbit with testing due to start on April 19th.