Es’hail-2 is a new communication satellite originally scheduled to be placed into the geostationary transfer orbit in the fourth quarter of 2016, but delayed to 2018. It will be launched aboard the Falcon-9 launch vehicle from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, US.

The satellite will be positioned at 26° east orbital position and will provide TV broadcasting and direct-to-home (DTH) services across the Middle East and North Africa. It will be the first Amateur Radio communication satellite in Qatar.

Owned and operated by Es’hailSat, Es’hail-2 will become Qatar’s second communications satellite, following the launch of the Es’hail-1 in August 2013.

Es’hailSat plans for more new satellites in prime hotspot locations.

Es’hail-2 satellite development details

“Es’hail-2 has a mass of approximately 3,000kg.”

Es’hailSat awarded the design and build contract of the satellite to Japan-based manufacturer Mitsubishi Electric (MELCO) in September 2014. The critical design review of the satellite was completed in 2015.

MELCO will also supply the ground systems and provide the required training under a complete turnkey solution. This makes Mitsubishi the first Japanese satellite supplier to enter Arab’s commercial communications satellite market.

Es’hail-2 has a mass of approximately 3,000kg and will have a lifespan of more than 15 years.

Communication capabilities of the Es’hail-2

The satellite will feature 24 Ku-band and 11 Ka-band transponders to provide direct broadcasting services for television, government and commercial content distribution.

In addition, it will carry two phase four Amateur Radio transponders, which will provide Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation the first geostationary communication capability to directly link Brazil to India in a single hop in real-time. It will also allow the AMSAT community to corroborate and exhibit their digital video broadcasting standard.

Satellite bus

Al Yah 3 is an all Ka-band communications satellite .

Es’hail-2 will be based on the DS2000 satellite bus platform developed by MELCO. The satellite bus handles a broad range of communications payloads and can provide an output of up to 15kW, which is sufficient to power multiple payloads.

Its flexible design suits various payload applications, including hybrid communication payloads, multiple spot-beam broadband communications and meteorological satellites.

The electrical power system includes 100V-regulated dual bus with silicon, multi-junction Gallium arsenide solar array and NiH2 or Li-Ion batteries.

Launch vehicle

In December 2014, Es’hailSat selected Space Exploration Technologies to launch the satellite. SpaceX will launch the satellite aboard Falcon 9, its own launch vehicle, from SpaceX’s launch complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Falcon 9 is a 505,846kg, 68.4m-tall two-stage rocket. It can carry a payload of 13,150kg to LEO, and 4,850kg to GTO.
Its first stage features nine Merlin engines and aluminium-lithium alloy tanks carrying liquid oxygen and rocket-grade kerosene (RP-1). It generates 1.3Mlb (million pounds) of thrust at sea level and 1.5Mlb in the vacuum of space.

The second stage incorporates a single Merlin vacuum engine that delivers the payload to the respective orbit. The engine can be restarted multiple times to place different payloads into different orbits.

This stage generates a thrust of 180,000lbf and an intermediate stage between the first and the second holds the release and separation system.

Teleport facility for satellite ground station services

“The satellite will feature 24 Ku-band and 11 Ka-band transponders.”

Es’hailSat awarded a contract to SES TechCom, a wholly owned subsidiary of SES, to develop a new teleport facility for the satellite in October 2014. The new state-of-the-art facility will be constructed on a greenfield site located to the north of Doha.

It will provide satellite control and communications support for Es’hail-2, as well as up-linking and reception facilities for the company’s business partners.

The teleport will feature the necessary equipment to provide comprehensive satellite ground station and platform services. SES TechCom will work closely with Es’hailSat to create the facility, which is expected to play a key role in Qatar’s communication infrastructure.

Defence Technology