Arianespace Soyuz launches new SES-15 all-electric communications satellite


An Arianespace Soyuz rocket has launched its new SES-15 all-electric telecommunications satellite from Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana.

Delivered to a geostationary transfer orbit, the satellite will be operated by Luxembourg-based operator SES.

The SES-15 will reach its final position of 129°W with the power of its all-electrical propulsion system, becoming the first SES satellite to use all-electrical propulsion technology.

Equipped with 16 Ku-band transponders and high-throughput satellite (HTS) capabilities, the satellite will serve North America, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.

“SES-15 will allow us to strengthen our ability to provide next-generation services in data-intensive markets such as maritime and corporate broadband.”

The Boeing-built satellite was also features a dedicated wide beam that will allow in-flight connectivity (IFC) and in-flight entertainment (IFE) providers to deliver live TV content on all flight routes across the US, including Hawaii, Alaska, Canada, the Caribbean and Mexico.

IFC or IFE providers will also be able to optimise HTS capacity for internet traffic and wide-beam coverage for broadcast content.

SES chief technology officer Martin Halliwell said: “The successful launch of SES-15 is the first of our three planned hybrid satellites, which have both wide beams and high-throughput capability.

“SES-15, along with the soon-to-be launched SES-14 hybrid satellite, and our existing in-orbit satellites, offer the most resilient aeronautical connectivity platform in North America.

“SES-15 will allow us to strengthen our ability to provide next-generation services in data-intensive markets such as maritime and corporate broadband.”

The SES-15 has also carried a Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) hosted payload, which will enable the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to boost global positioning systems.


Image: Arianespace Soyuz lifting off SES-15 satellite into space. Photo: courtesy of Arianespace.