SES-14, the first ever all-electric satellite in the 4-tonne class today left the Airbus Defence and Space clean rooms in Toulouse. The spacecraft will be delivered to French Guiana for its launch from Kourou CSG (Guiana Space Center), by Ariane 5, in January 2018.
SES-14 is one of two all-electric satellites that SES, the world leading satellite operator, has ordered from Airbus. The satellite is based on the highly reliable Eurostar platform, in its E3000e variant that uses electric propulsion for orbit raising (EOR), enabling SES-14 to carry a large multi-mission payload.
The satellite will serve Latin America, the Caribbean, North America and the North Atlantic region with its C- and Ku-band wide beam coverage, as well as offering Ku-band high throughput spot beam coverage. The High Throughput Satellite (HTS) payload is equipped with a Digital Transparent Processor (DTP), increasing payload flexibility and enabling customized bandwidth solutions for SES’s customers.
“We are looking forward to the launch of the most powerful electric satellite built to date. Thanks to the innovations embedded in this state of the art spacecraft, it will deliver two large missions for our customer SES in a single satellite”, said Nicolas Chamussy, Head of Space Systems. “I salute SES’ ambition when it comes to innovation; I am grateful for their pioneering spirit and trust in our technology for electric satellites and processed payloads”.
SES-14 will also carry the first NASA science mission to fly as a hosted payload on a commercial communications satellite. The Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD) mission instruments will measure densities and temperatures in Earth’s thermosphere and ionosphere.
The spacecraft will have a launch weight of 4,400 kg and an electric power capability of 16 kW. Its nominal operational position will be 47.5 degrees West, and it has been designed to remain in service in orbit for more than 15 years.
SES-14 is the 12th satellite built by Airbus for SES and the 48th satellite based on the highly reliable Eurostar E3000 platform. It is the 2nd in the all electric E3000e configuration, successfully introduced in orbit in 2017.