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SES-17 successfully launched

October 25, 2021

By Chris Forrester

An Arianespace rocket has successfully launched SES’s latest satellite – its most comprehensive with almost 200 spot beams covering the Americas, the Caribbean and Atlantic. Launch was at 02.10am UTC on October 24th

SES-17 is an all Ka-band craft and will eventually operate from the 67.1 degrees West slot and is primarily designed to serve in-flight demand and passengers on cruise ships.

The satellite is an ‘all-electric’ model that will use its own on-board electric thrusters to achieve its final orbit. It should be on station and ready for work around the middle of 2022.

Built by Thales Alenia Space, SES-17 marks an important milestone in satellite technology as the first Ka-band geostationary satellite to embark a fully digital payload powered the most powerful digital transparent processor (DTP) ever placed in orbit. The craft has the ability to dynamically change the power and frequency allocation of any beam, means that SES-17 can adapt to changing customer needs in real-time.

When operational, anchor customer Thales InFlyt Experience will use SES-17’s connectivity to power its next-generation aviation connectivity solution, FlytLIVE. Thales InFlyt Experience will ensure both crew and passengers will have an always-on high-speed Wi-Fi connection at peak times and in high-traffic routes while optimising bandwidth.

“Today’s launch of SES-17 is an exciting milestone for our FlytLIVE Connectivity Solution currently flying within the United States,” said Craig Olson, VP/Thales InFlyt Experience. “The network and satellite architecture was specifically developed for the unique connectivity requirements of our commercial aviation customers and their passengers. With SES-17, FlytLIVE will provide full coverage for the entire Americas and North Atlantic Corridor delivering an unmatched connectivity experience in the air.”

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