The SES-17 satellite has been successfully launched onboard an Ariane 5 launcher operated by Arianespace from the Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
Located at 67.1 degrees West, the multi-mission Ka-band geostationary satellite will provide comprehensive coverage across the Americas, the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean for SES customers operating in the aeronautical, maritime, enterprise, and government markets.
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. It will have nearly 200 user beams that can be connected to any other beam at any time. This, combined with 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.
It is also the first GEO satellite to use Adaptive Resource Control (ARC), an industry-first software system that leverages the full flexibility of totally digital payloads to autonomously adapt space and ground resources on the fly to meet customer needs.
Equipped with an all-electric propulsion system, the satellite will reach orbit as of mid-2022. 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.
Commenting on the launch, Craig Olson, VP at Thales InFlyt Experience, said: “Today’s launch of SES-17 is an exciting milestone for our FlytLIVE Connectivity Solution currently flying within the United States.
“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|”.
Steve Collar, CEO of SES, added: “We are immensely excited to have SES-17 join our GEO fleet and medium earth orbit (MEO) constellation. SES-17 is the fruit of a successful collaboration between the Thales Group, Thales Alenia Space and SES, and will enable us to address the exponential connectivity demands in aviation and maritime, and to accelerate digital inclusion initiatives across the Americas.
“Thanks to Arianespace, SES-17 is now on its way to orbit. We are looking forward to SES customers being able to leverage the high throughput, global reach and low-latency of SES’s multi-orbit, interoperable Ka-band satellite network comprising SES-17 and our upcoming O3b mPOWER constellation”.
Herve Derrey, CEO of Thales Alenia Space, continued: “What a launch – SES-17 has mobilised all Thales Alenia Space experts – from the innovative design of the satellite itself to the last combined operations – and is now on its way to orbit. Fully digital and highly innovative, SES-17 will benefit from all the state-of-art technologies we have developed to fulfil the market’s connectivity needs”.