SES launches hybrid SES-15 satellite

SES’s first hybrid satellite with wide beams and high-throughput capability has successfully launched from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana.

SES-15 carries a hybrid payload, comprising 16 Ku-band wide beams and Ku-band High Throughput Satellite (HTS) capability, with connectivity to gateways in the Ka band. It will serve North America, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.

SES-15’s high throughput payload will deliver optimised and flexible coverage for major global in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) service providers, such as Global Eagle, Gogo and Panasonic Avionics. In addition, SES-15 has a dedicated wide beam that is designed to enable IFEC providers to deliver live TV content on all flight routes across the US, including Hawaii and Alaska, as well as Canada, the Caribbean and Mexico. This unique combination of beams allows IFEC providers to optimise HTS capacity use for internet traffic and wide beam coverage for broadcast content.

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.

Martin Halliwell, chief technology officer at SES.

SES-15 is the operator’s first 702 all-electric satellite in its fleet, and Boeing’s fifth with all-electric propulsion design.

According to Boeing, the 702-model satellite demonstrates that using 3D-printed parts can improve affordability and production. More than 50 such metallic parts are on the vehicle in the primary structure.

“With its all-electric propulsion, and inclusion of 3D-printed hardware, SES-15 is a great example of how we can create efficient and cost-effective products rapidly for customers,” said Mark Spiwak, president, Boeing Satellite Systems International. “In fact, SES-15 was designed, built, tested and delivered to the launch site ahead of schedule.”

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