WASHINGTON — SES proposed a low Earth orbit constellation to the U.S. Federal Communications Fee that, if constructed, would make the corporate an operator of satellites in low, medium and geostationary orbits.
Luxembourg-basically based mostly absolutely largely SES on Might probably 26 requested the FCC to grant U.S. market get admission to for a constellation of 36 LEO satellites that might nicely present extreme recordsdata worth communications for recordsdata superhighway-of-things gadgets and carry out a relay group for different digital web site on-line site visitors.
SES additionally requested for market get admission to rights for a extra 34 satellites it’s going to in all probability nicely add to the O3b broadband constellation it has already deployed in medium Earth orbit.
An SES foray into LEO?
SES operates round 50 satellites in geostationary orbits 36,000 kilometers above the equator, plus 20 O3b satellites in medium Earth orbits 8,000 kilometers above the Earth. The corporate has touted having each MEO and GEO as a aggressive benefit that allows optimum routing of purchaser web site on-line site visitors principally based mostly absolutely totally on tempo and protection necessities.
SES CEO Steve Collar expressed an openness to LEO in March, describing SES as constructing an “built-in, cloud-scale group” in Ka-band with a pair of orbits.
“What multi-orbit does is it permits you to assign the explicit purchaser throughout the categorical suppose throughout the group and takes us away from this religion between ‘is it MEO or GEO or LEO?’ I mirror, for us despite each factor, this may sometimes be a mixture. That is additionally built-in, and additional in total than not clients obtained’t know what they’re on,” Collar talked about all around the Satellite tv for pc television for computer 2020 convention.
The LEO constellation SES described to the FCC would suppose Ka-band frequencies, the equal to the operator’s O3b satellites in MEO and a pair of of its GEO satellites. The LEO constellation would attribute in a 507-kilometer orbit and suppose radio-frequency hyperlinks to transmit to satellites in MEO and GEO.
SES’s FCC submitting wouldn’t signify a dedication to sort a LEO constellation. The corporate modified into responding to an FCC demand recordsdata from satellite tv for pc television for computer operators, modern or potential, that carry out to current U.S. communications firms with non-geosynchronous constellations working specifically Ku- and Ka-band frequencies. OneWeb feeble the FCC’s name to file a proposal for a 48,000-satellite television for computer constellation regardless that it is a long way in monetary hassle, and Viasat feeble the spherical to file a 300-satellite television for computer constellation it’s going to in all probability nicely sort if it wins federal broadband subsidies.
In whole, 9 firms replied to the FCC’s Might probably 26 sever-off date with new constellations or constellation expansions beneath consideration. EOS Protection Methods, Kepler Communications, Telesat, SpaceX, Mangata Networks, and New Spectrum Satellite tv for pc television for computer all filed aside from to OneWeb, SES and Viasat.
If SES does deploy a LEO constellation targeted on the recordsdata superhighway-of-things market, it’s going to in all probability nicely apply Eutelsat and EchoStar as weak geostationary satellite tv for pc television for computer operators rising LEO IoT constellations. Greater than a dozen startups, equal to Kepler, Fleet and Astroscale, are additionally deploying LEO IoT constellations, many having began their companies earlier than incumbent GEO operators began aggressively eying the the identical market.
Doubling down on MEO
In the meantime, SES informed the FCC the reason for its new MEO submitting is to arrange for a 3rd technology of O3b satellites, which might apply the upcoming O3b mPower satellites. If in style, SES would personal market get admission to rights for 76 MEO satellites, 20 of which personal already launched.
SES has seven O3b mPower satellites beneath building with Boeing and slated to start in 2021 on two SpaceX Falcon 9 missions. SES has not talked about what number of mPower satellites this may sometimes ship and start earlier than beginning up a third-generation O3b group. The corporate talked about in 2018 that FCC approvals it obtained that twelve months permit it to triple the size of the mPower fleet.
For its third-generation O3b group, SES talked about it must attribute 10 satellites in an equatorial MEO orbit. Yet one more 24 satellites would attribute in inclined MEO orbits, and would suppose a smaller platform that “permits for added satellites to suit inside accessible launchers,” SES talked about.
The proposed MEO satellites would even personal inter-satellite television for computer hyperlinks to permit communications between spacecraft in assorted orbits.