SAUDI ARABIA. The Arabsat-5A and BADR-5 satellites have been handed over to Arabsat by Astrium and Thales Alenia Space as part of the in-orbit delivery contract and
have entered commercial service.
Both satellites have been deployed and tested in orbit in the same period due to their close launch dates. After the successful completion of in-orbit testing to ensure that all spacecraft functions were performing as expected, BADR-5 launched by Proton on 3 June was officially transferred to Arabsat on 17 July at the designated orbital location, shortly followed by Arabsat-5A, launched by Ariane 5 on 26 June and officially transferred to Arabsat on 21 July at the designated orbital location, less than one month after launch.
Astrium and Thales Alenia Space are acting as co-prime contractors for the satellites’ construction and delivery into orbit. Astrium, the team leader, supplied the Eurostar E3000 platforms and assembled and tested the spacecraft. Thales Alenia Space supplied the communications payloads. The Launch and Early Orbit Phases were conducted from the Astrium spacecraft control centre in Toulouse, and the In-Orbit Testing from the Arabsat main control centre in Riyadh with the participation of the Arabsat control centre in Tunis.
Arabsat’s first 5th generation satellites are now in commercial operation providing communications services.
BADR-5 is collocated with the BADR-4 and BADR-6 Direct-to-Home satellites at Arabsat’s hot spot. BADR-5 provides the highest level of service within the MENA region and new services over the Central Asia region. BADR 5 provides capacity for more than 700 TV channels, HDTV, 3D, Telecom services including broadband, in addition to providing a full in orbit backup for the Arabsat fleet.
BADR-5 is a Eurostar E3000 satellite equipped with a payload that includes 56 transponders operating in different bands.
Astrium, a wholly owned subsidiary of EADS, is dedicated to providing civil and defence space systems and services.
EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2009, EADS generated revenues of €42.8 billion and employed a workforce of more than 119, 000.