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Optus 10 Communication Satellite, Australia

Key Data

Optus 10

The Optus 10 communication satellite, designed and built by Space Systems / Loral (SS/L), will offer high-power direct-to-home (DTH) television, mobile communication and digital broadband services to Australia and New Zealand.

The satellite will be owned and operated by Australian mobile service provider Singtel Optus. It will be the tenth satellite to join the Optus fleet.

Singtel Optus awarded a contract to SS/L in March 2011 to design, develop, examine and deliver the Optus 10 spacecraft. The satellite will offer telecommunication services to the region, including remote areas.

It is the second satellite being developed by SS/L for enhancing the Optus fleet capacity. SS/L supplied the satellite bus for Optus C1 spacecraft in 2003 to transport hosted equipment for the Australian Defence Forces.

Optus 10 is scheduled for launch into geostationary earth orbit (GEO) through the SS/Loral-LS-1300 bus platform in mid-2013.

Optus 10 design

"The satellite has been designed for a lifespan of 15 years."

The satellite will be designed and developed at Palo Alto, California. It is being designed for a lifespan of 15 years. It will weigh around 3,200kg at launch and consume 5kW of power.

The satellite will have two unfolded solar wings, each comprising three solar panels for supplying electrical power.

It will provide voice and data communications services using small ground station terminals situated at different locations in Australia and New Zealand. The spacecraft is being designed to be smaller than the conventional communication satellites currently existing in the market.


Optus 10 is a digitally channelised satellite that will render communication capacity, connectivity and flexibility. The 24 Ku-band active high power transponders deployed in the satellite bus will be connected to two gateway beams, Australia and New Zealand, for offering mobile, cable distribution, corporate network and fixed satellite services. The satellite boasts fixed and steerable beams of high efficiency suited for DTH services.

LS-1300 satellite bus

Related project

Ariane 5

Ariane 5 is a heavy-load launcher, designed to put commercial satellites into geo-stationary orbits at low cost.

Designed and built by Space Systems / Loral, the LS-1300 is an advance satellite bus primarily used for geostationary communications. It is powered by an ion-electric propulsion system to reduce the weight of the satellite bus.

It can carry 5,500kg of payload. It renders a total satellite power ranging between 5kW and 12kW with the on-board transmitter power of 5,000 RF watts.

The satellite bus is designed to serve for a period of 15 years and will retire after 17 years of launch into orbit.

The LS-1300 was first introduced in 1980s and can carry 70 active transponders. With lightweight and robust structure, the satellite bus is equipped with fuel efficient attitude and station keeping thrusters, batteries, and modern command and control systems.

Launch vehicle for Optus 10

In October 2011, Singtel agreed to launch the satellite aboard Ariane 5 rocket, which is manufactured by European Space Agency (ESA). Arianespace will provide the launch service operations for the satellite.

It will be launched from the Guiana Space Centre located in French Guiana.

Ground station

"Optus 10 can be controlled from four operational centres."

Optus 10 can be controlled from four operational centres, which include East Coast Australia, West Coast Australia, South Coast Australia and North Coast New Zealand using ground equipment hardware and software. These centres will be used for satellite tracking and data delivery. The operational centres will also coordinate during launch missions.

The ground station will be designed and manufactured by Space Systems / Loral and installed at the international customer sites. The telemetry tracking and command (TT&C) system will enable the ground station operators to identify, command, control and monitor the satellite when diverging from its geostationary orbit.

The ground station operators will communicate with the spacecraft through a 36MHz bandwidth assigned by the service provider.

Artistic Rendering of Optus 10 communication satellite.
Optus 10 will be designed and manufactured by Space Systems / Loral for Singtel Optus.
The launch vehicle for the Optus 10 communication satellite has not yet been decided but considering the weight of satellite, the satellite is expected to be launched on the second berth of Ariane 5 rocket launcher.