Intelsat IS-40e success
April 11, 2023
By Chris Forrester
April 7th saw SpaceX launch Intelsat’s latest satellite, a high throughput craft dubbed IS-40e, into its geostationary transfer orbit. IS-40e also carried a NASA Earth-observation module.
The SpaceX launch used a Falcon 9 booster that had already flown three times previously (“flight proven” in the SpaceX parlance). The booster landed flawlessly on the floating barge ‘A Shortfall of Gravitas’ just nine minutes after launch.
Intelsat’s IS-40e was built by Maxar Technologies and will be placed at 91 degrees West.
The NASA portion of the mission (Tropospheric Emissions Monitoring of Pollution, TEMPO) will allow TEMPO to take hourly snapshots of air pollution over North America. TEMPO will measure ultraviolet, visible and near-infrared light spectra to detect levels of key pollutants including ozone in the lower troposphere, formaldehyde and nitrogen dioxide.
The launch was SpaceX’s 23rd of the year, and the Falcon 9’s touchdown was the company’s 184th orbital rocket landing overall to date. Shortly after launch, Intelsat tweeted: “Mission accomplished”.
The satellite relies on spot-beam technology to provide a large amount of capacity over North America for Intelsat’s commercial aviation, mobility and network service customers.
“The IS-40e high-throughput technology serves as a significant commitment to our North American commercial aviation, mobility and network customers,” said Dave Wajsgras, CEO at Intelsat. “As we continue to refresh our fleet of satellites and add capacity, Intelsat is focused on providing the best value and service for our customers and their end users. The satellite also includes a NASA payload that will be the first instrument to monitor air pollution across North America from geostationary orbit.”
When operational in May, IS-40e will be positioned at 91 degrees West and deliver a wide range of services and coverage, including:
· Incremental high-throughput capacity will be added into Intelsat’s commercial aviation network, providing passengers with an enhanced user experience from coast-to-coast.
· High-speed connectivity will be added into Intelsat’s Flex network to support growth for on-the-go industrial operations, rapid response missions, maritime, offshore communications, inflight connectivity for business jets and government aviation.
· Enterprise customers will see higher speeds and better coverage for strengthening SD-WAN and other network services.
· Cellular customers will be able to leverage more capacity to deliver 4G/LTE and 5G services for rural and remote areas and where seasonal demand and disaster recovery service is needed.