A Luxembourg business event (EU Defence & Security) heard that just one year after its launch by SpaceX, GovSat has sold around 20 per cent of its military and government capacity. It launched on January 31st last year. There is a possibility that a second satellite could be bought.
GovSat-1, itself a so-called ‘condominium’ satellite between LuxGovSat with joint-venture partner SES, which commercialises its portion as SES-16, has sold bandwidth to the Luxembourg States itself, the Belgian navy, the French navy as well as to NATO. It operates from 21.5 degrees East.
The military and governmental usage depends on ‘Government only’ X-band and Ka-band. This enables an array of applications such as connectivity for theatres of operation, interconnection of institutional or defence sites, border control, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), as well as various types of communications on the move for land and maritime missions.
The satellites coverage areas spread over Europe, Middle East and Africa with maritime coverage for the Atlantic, Baltic, Mediterranean and Indian Oceans. GovSat-1 is equipped with anti-jamming features, encrypted telemetry and control, and uses assured frequencies.
Patrick Biewer is CEO (and was MD of SES Broadband Services), and he told delegates that in general, a satellite does not market 100 per cent, but about 80 per cent of its total capacity. “Because some contracts start when others end. It takes six to seven years to do that,” he said, but thanks to this initial take-up the satellite’s operating costs were now largely covered.