Advanced Television

Success for Arabsat’s BADR-8

May 30, 2023

By Chris Forrester

After numerous delays caused by bad weather over Florida, Arabsat’s latest satellite, BADR-8 launched at 3.25am UTC on May 27th.

The near-5 tonnes satellite was finally lofted into a geostationary transfer orbit having suffered delays by thick cloud and strong winds and even on the day of lift-off the launch teams were suffering anxieties over weather limitations. The launch, and subsequent landing of the Falcon 9 rocket’s booster section, were all textbook.

The spacecraft is also equipped with a world first, Airbus’ innovative space demonstrator TELEO to provide space to ground optical communications at gigabit speeds. The TELEO demonstrator payload is designed to facilitate very high-capacity optical feeder link communications, playing a crucial role in Airbus’ development of a new generation of optical communications technology in space.

The launch marked SpaceX’s 36th flight of the year, and the 26th orbital launch attempt so far in 2023 from Florida’s Space Coast.

Built by Airbus Defence & Space (and its eighth spacecraft built for Arabsat) BADR-8 will provide C-band and Ku-band communications services to replace capacity currently offered by the aging 15-year-old BADR-6 satellite in geostationary orbit.

BADR-8 is using its electric propulsion system to reach geostationary orbit at 36,000 km. The satellite will then undergo a comprehensive testing period in geostationary orbit before entering full service.

BADR-8 will move into position at the same orbital slot as BADR-6, located along the equator at 26 degrees east longitude. BADR-8 will provide television broadcast services, video relay, and data services across the Middle East and North Africa, Europe, and Central Asia.

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