Advanced Television

Telesat ready for “fibre-like” tests with LEO satellite

May 23, 2018

By Chris Forrester

Ottawa-based satellite operator Telesat says its debut LEO craft, launched in January, is now operational and ready for testing.

The news also means that Telesat has successfully secured its ITU-authorised orbital positions and frequencies for its much larger constellation of LEO satellites.

Telesat says that this Phase 1 satellite has already been agreed to be used as a test-bed by satellite industry leaders including Global Eagle Entertainment, OmniAccess and Optus Satellite, all of which have agreed to collaborate in live, over-the-air trials. Other companies that serve major markets of interest to Telesat will also be participating in its in-orbit tests.

“Once fully deployed, Telesat’s LEO constellation is designed to deliver transformative, fibre-like broadband for commercial and government customers throughout the world. The initial constellation will consist of approximately 120 state-of-the-art satellites providing full global coverage and Telesat is evaluating options to expand its system beyond this initial configuration,” says the operator.

The tests will determine the satellites ultra-low latency and high-speed processing. The latency is particularly attractive, and should provide round-trip speeds of 30-50 milliseconds. “In some cases Telesat’s LEO constellation will be better than terrestrial fibre,” says the company.

Telesat says it will start deploying additional LEO satellites later this summer. The constellation will be complete by 2021 and will provide 4 GHz of Ka-band spectrum.

Telesat operates the Anikand Nimiq fleets, as well as the Telstar satellites, and now its LEO 1 craft.

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