Dual satellite communications system
In August 2007, the Al Yah Satellite Communications Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi government’s strategic investment and development vehicle Mubadala Development Company, awarded a contract to a joint Airbus Defence and Space–Thales Alenia Space team to provide a dual (government and commercial) satellite communications system.
The Yahsat system comprises two large satellites, Yahsat 1A and Yahsat 1B, to be delivered in orbit, and the associated ground infrastructure. Both Yahsat 1A and Yahsat 1B are Airbus Defence and Space Eurostar E3000 spacecraft with a launch mass of approximately 6,000kg and an electrical power of 15kW. Y1A is equipped with a communications payload operating in C-, Ku- and Ka-bands whilst Y1B is an all-Ka-band satellite. Launched in 2011 and 2012, they will operate for a minimum of 15 years. The system includes a large number of ground terminals, either fixed or mobile, transportable, shipborne and manpacks.
Airbus Defence and Space and Thales Alenia Space are jointly responsible for the overall system. Airbus Defence and Space, the leading partner, is the prime contractor for the ground segment, in charge of the overall system and network management. The satellites are integrated and tested by Airbus Defence and Space, based on the company’s leading Eurostar E3000 platform. Thales Alenia Space is responsible for the Yahsat space segment, and is supplying the communications payloads and procuring the launchers. The ground terminals are provided by Airbus Defence and Space and Thales. The Launch and Early Orbit Phase operations are conducted from the Airbus Defence and Space spacecraft control centre in Toulouse.
Yahsat provides customers with innovative solutions for broadcasting services, internet trunking via satellite, corporate data networks and backhauling services to telecom operators. The Yahsat satellites fulfil the satellite communications requirements of both government and commercial customers in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and South West Asia.