Y1B satellite successfully deployed in-orbit, and started operating from the Yahsat ground station

14 May 2012

  • Following launch by Proton on 24 April 2012, the Y1B communications satellite was successfully deployed in geostationary orbit.
  • Astrium, responsible for Launch and Early Orbit Phase operations, has handed over control to Yahsat in Abu Dhabi.
  • The second Yahsat satellite Y1B completes the United Arab Emirates’ state-of-the-art commercial and governmental satellite telecommunications network.
  • Astrium and Thales Alenia Space are co-prime contractors in this major project for the UAE.

Astrium, Europe’s leading space company, has successfully completed the Launch and Early Orbit Phase operations of the Y1B satellite, conducted from its spacecraft control centre in Toulouse (France), and passed control over to the Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (Yahsat). Astrium and Thales Alenia Space (TAS), co-prime contractors of the Yahsat satellite telecommunications system, will continue to support the Emirati satellite telecommunications operator during payload testing prior to entry into service.

Astrium took control of Y1B on 24 April upon separation of Proton Breeze M upper stage and injection in geostationary transfer orbit. Following spacecraft initialisation and a series of manoeuvres, the satellite reached geostationary orbit on 29 April and fully deployed its solar panels and four antenna reflectors. The testing of the satellite platform was completed smoothly and the payload was switched on as planned at the operational position, which means the antenna coverage can now be verified.

Astrium officially handed over control of the satellite to Yahsat on 11 May. The in-orbit payload tests are conducted under Thales Alenia Space responsibility, prior to entering service in the weeks ahead.

In sending the first command to the satellite on 13 May, Yahsat CEO Tareq Abdulraheem Al Hosani said: “I am extremely pleased with all the work carried out by Astrium and Thales Alenia Space in the building and early operations of our second satellite Y1B. Y1A, the first satellite in our fleet, which was launched in 2011, has allowed us to start offering entirely new services to our customers, and we are convinced that the arrival of Y1B will enhance the quality of coverage we provide in our sphere of operations. We know that Astrium and TAS will continue to work by our side and help us oversee the satellite’s latest operations, maintain our network and train our operators.”

Y1B will provide Ka-band communications to its commercial and governmental users in the Middle East, Africa and South-West Asia. Thanks to its Ka-band multi - spot beam technology, Y1B will offer high-speed broadband internet services to its private and institutional customers. In complementing Y1A, the satellite also completes the UAE government’s mission of significantly increasing the country’s total secure communications capacity over the Middle East. With a launch mass of approximately 6,000kg and a spacecraft power of 14kW, Y1B has a lifetime design of more than 15 years.

Like Y1A, Y1B was integrated by Astrium on a Eurostar E3000 platform and tested at its Toulouse site. More than 50 Eurostar satellites have now been launched and have accumulated over 400 years of successful in-orbit operation. Both military and commercial payloads in Ka-band were built by Thales Alenia Space.

About Al Yah Satellite Communications Company PrJSC (Yahsat)

Yahsat provides multipurpose satellite solutions (government and commercial) for broadband, broadcast, military communications use across the Middle East, Africa and South West Asia. Based in Abu Dhabi, and wholly owned by Mubadala, Yahsat is the first company in the Middle East and Africa to offer multi-purpose satellite services:

  • YahClick - the satellite broadband service
  • YahSecure - the government satellite service
  • YahLink - the satellite connectivity service
  • YahService - end to end satellite solutions
  • YahCarrier - satellite solutions for telecommunications carriers

Yahsat’s first satellite Y1A was successfully launched in April 2011, and successfully launched its second satellite Y1B in April 2012 (www.yahsat.ae).


About Astrium

Astrium is the number one company in Europe for space technologies and the third in the world. In 2011, Astrium had a turnover close to €5 billion and 18,000 employees worldwide, mainly in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands.

Astrium is the sole European company that covers the whole range of civil and defence space systems and services.

Its three business units are: Astrium Space Transportation for launchers and orbital infrastructure; Astrium Satellites for spacecraft and ground segment; Astrium Services for comprehensive fixed and mobile end-to-end solutions covering secure and commercial satcoms and networks, high security and broadcast satellite communications equipment and systems, and bespoke geo-information services, worldwide.

Astrium is a wholly owned subsidiary of EADS, a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2011, the Group – comprising Airbus, Astrium, Cassidian and Eurocopter – generated revenues of € 49.1 billion and employed a workforce of over 133,000.

Press contacts:

Jeremy Close
Media Relations UK
Astrium United Kingdom
 
Tel.: +44 1 438 77 3872
Gregory Gavroy
Astrium France
Media Relations France
 
Tel.: +33 (0) 1 77 75 80 32
Ralph Heinrich
Media Relations Germany
Airbus Defence and Space Germany
 
Tel.: +49 89 60 73 39 71
Fax: +49 89 60 78 53 39
Francisco Lechon
Media Relations Spain
Airbus Defence and Space Spain
 
Tel.: +34 91 5 86 37 41
Fax: +34 91 5 86 37 82
 

Downloads

Press Release

PDF