Next week will see the launch from French Guiana spaceport on Europe’s heavy launcher Ariane 5 into a geostationary transfer orbit. The satellite will be used for telecommunication and television broadcasting purposes for countries in the Middle East and Africa. It will primarily support the Arab Satellite Communications Organization, which is one of the leading satellite operators in the Arab world.
Airbus is the main supplier, as they provide the Eurostar E3000 platforms and also integrate the units. The launch of the satellite will mark a significant milestone for Airbus.
"The upcoming launch has a special significance for Airbus Defense and Space. Not only is it the first sixth-generation Arabsat satellite in which we have incorporated the best of our expertise and technologies, but also the seventh Eurostar satellite we are delivering to Arabsat,”
said Francois Auque, Airbus Defense and Spaces systems head. It will also be the third of five satellites launched this year.
Once the satellite is in orbit, its name will be changed to Badr-7. Once in orbit, it will join the Badr network at Arabsat 26° E hotspot, expanding coverage over the MEA region. The orbit will be for more than fifteen years, as it will be responsible for operating twenty-seven transponders in Ku-band and twenty-four beams in Ka-band.
Final integration and testing was completed in October. The satellite itself is huge and powerful - It has a mass of 5,800 kg and 11.5 kW of power. It will join its buddy satellites in space, including Arabsat-5A, Badr-5, and Arabsat-5C. All are fifth generation satellites.
Arabsat-6B was developed in association with Thales Alenia Space, who build the communications payloads and upgrades the ground control segment for the fleet.
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