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OneWeb Launches First LEO Satellites
On February 27, OneWeb launched the first six of its planned 600 Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites that will form its initial constellation. Hughes is developing the ground system that will enable OneWeb to deliver services around the globe and is an investor in the business.
The Arianespace launcher carried a total payload of approximately 886.2 kg (147.7 kg each) from the Soyuz Zone (ZLS) of the Arianespace Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. The nominal duration of the mission (from lift off to first separation of the satellites) took 1 hour 22 minutes and 30 seconds; initial altitude reached 1,000 km and will rise to 1,200 km over the coming months.
First Gateways Shipped
Hughes is the exclusive system gateway developer for the OneWeb constellation and in March shipped its first set of specially designed gateways. Each gateway features multiple tracking antennas to support operation and handoff of high speed user traffic to and from the LEO satellites, as well as a custom switching complex, outdoor modems, and power amplifiers. Gateway performance includes an unprecedented 10,000 terminal hand offs per second, a technological and engineering breakthrough. This shipment is the first of many key operational milestones of the Hughes-OneWeb partnership.