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As the global leader in broadband satellite networks and services, Hughes is no stranger to systems. The company is all about developing innovative systems and solutions to meet the communications needs of customers around the world.
But those networking systems and solutions must be made useful from a business perspective. In other words, a company must be able to effectively integrate them with their business processes to manage customer and vendor orders, deliver products and services, track inventories, and support customers and employees. Getting this functionality right is the job of Hughes Business Information Technology and Services, also known as BITS.
Part business systems provider and part traditional IT organization, BITS is a versatile group whose charter is to create services and solutions using state-of-the-art technology to make the systems behind the systems work, serving both external and internal customers.
An important BITS role is to assess new IT trends and technologies and determine how to best apply them. For example, the concept of virtualization has led to development of virtualized server and storage solutions, as well as making using of cloud-based services.
Similarly, service-oriented architecture (SOA) makes systems more flexible and provides more agility in reacting to business needs. Likewise, business process management takes a view of implementation approaches by walking through business processes step-by-step. And a wireless LAN connects two or more devices through a wireless distribution method, giving users the mobility to move around within a local coverage area and still be connected to the network.
Wearing its business services hat, BITS develops the IT systems such as ordering, provisioning, activation, billing, and customer care, which underpin service delivery by Hughes to its many enterprise, government, and consumer customers. On the internal IT side, the team operates enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems for Hughes departments such as accounting, finance, HR, and manufacturing.
BITS also supports collaboration systems and applications for the company such as email, instant messaging, and document management, which are typically configured and customized from off-the-shelf products. In addition, the BITS team implements IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL)-based processes such as change and incident management.
A typical day in the life of a BITS staffer has a strong customer focus. It may include learning about customer requirements, defining business processes, developing proof of concept of new technologies, testing, delivering services, and performing business intelligence activities to identify trends. BITS personnel also interact constantly with internal Hughes groups, deploying new technologies, detecting and fixing problems, and managing security compatibility and compliance to standards such as Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) and Payment Card Industry (PCI).
The BITS team is made up of more than 100 engineers and technicians. Some engineers focus on applications development, operating systems, and databases; others apply their expert knowledge of physical servers, storage, network, Internet, wireless, or telephony to develop services and solutions. BITS technicians handle matters such as help desk inquiries and onsite support.
“Key to our success is the quality, commitment, and deep personal integrity of our people,” said Ashok Mehta, senior vice president of BITS. “Our top-notch staff has made a significant contribution to Hughes services and solutions, particularly with the breadth of automation that BITS has put in place.”
Hughes customers need timely, high-quality communications products and services. Operating quietly behind the scenes, BITS is another Hughes team of “unsung heroes” that keeps the company at the cutting edge, helping enable better, faster, and more robust communications for people around the world.
The tectonic plates that make up the outermost portion of the earth move slowly but constantly. Over centuries, this continual motion has created some of the world’s most spectacular scenery—witness the Himalayas, the Andes, the Alps. It is also what causes earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
Studying the behavior and properties of the earth’s surface and its underlying layers, known as the lithosphere, is the mandate of the California Institute of Technology Tectonics Observatory. To that end, the observatory has set up nearly fifty monitoring stations in Nepal, northern Chile, and southern Peru to measure the crustal motion of the earth during its entire cycle, which includes quiet periods, seismic periods during which earthquakes may occur, and post-seismic periods when seismic activity can go on for weeks or months. Equipped with high-precision GPS receivers, these autonomous stations measure motion to nearly 1/20th of an inch, as well as deformation of the earth’s crust.
Until now, scientists had to travel to the remote stations periodically to collect the steadily aging information for subsequent scientific analysis—which meant data was not real-time. But that is all about to change. Using the Hughes 9201-M2M satellite IP terminal, data will be transmitted instantaneously and on demand from the monitoring stations back to CalTech—enabling real-time assessment and emergency notification beyond purely scientific analysis. Scientists will have the capability to immediately assess the location, size, and other critical details of an earthquake as it happens. The data coming through the satellite link also will enable the observatory to make predictions; for example, if an earthquake is in progress in a certain area, scientists could use up-to-the-minute data from the stations to determine if a tsunami is likely to follow.
Most of the stations are located in remote areas with little infrastructure—no Internet access, no cell phone coverage, no landline phones. The one option to enable the transmission of information is satellite communications. Reliable and weatherproof, the Hughes 9201-M2M satellite IP terminal is a single-box, machine-to-machine terminal that operates on the Inmarsat Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN). Rugged, compact, and easy to use, with low power consumption, the Hughes 9201-M2M is fully IP compatible and configured for self-contained operation via a standard Ethernet interface.
With sites typically 50 miles apart, the observatory plans to equip certain centrally located sites with the Hughes 9201-M2M terminal and use long-range Ethernet bridges to feed data from other sites through the satellite terminal. As the autonomous monitoring stations transmit their data to the central facility at CalTech, they will also continuously provide information on the health and status of the machines themselves. The initial deployment, which will include two terminals in Nepal and two in southern Peru, is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
Also ideal for the oil, gas, water, environmental, and utility industries, the robust Hughes 9201-M2M is built to operate in extreme weather conditions, providing a highly secure, cost-effective, and always-on solution for continuous monitoring and control of remote sites.
“Unattended sites out in the middle of nowhere don’t have the option of onsite service if something goes wrong,” said Graham Avis, vice president of the Hughes Mobile Satellite Terminal Group. “That’s why we designed the 9201-M2M to be rock solid in even the most demanding environments.”
“Providing real-time assessment and hazard mitigation brings an important new dimension to our scientific work,” said Jeff Genrich, research geodesist, California Institute of Technology Tectonics Observatory. “When we see something out of the ordinary, we’ll be able to immediately contact local authorities to alert them that an event such as a volcanic eruption or an earthquake may be headed their way.”
Even as the observatory continues its important scientific study of the earth’s crust, the organization will now also have the ability to communicate critical data instantaneously about impending disasters such as tsunami warnings—and help to save lives.
The air at the third Annual All-Russia VSAT 2011 Championship was full of fun and competition as participants gathered recently at Bear Lakes near Moscow to face off in this high-speed VSAT (very small aperture terminal) installation event. Organized by leading service provider Settelecom, the championship was officially sponsored by RTComm, part of the Rostelecom family of companies, and supported by the Federal Communications Agency, Russian Satellite Communications Company, and the Global VSAT Forum. Hughes was the general sponsor.
Ten teams of two certified engineers each from regional distributors competed in the race to fully assemble and install VSAT equipment, including antenna pointing and cabling. Congratulations to the “Polluks,” the winning team of Oleg Gorshkov and Andrey Evmenenko from Kaluga, who completed the installation in 8 minutes and 42 seconds—a new record in Russia!
The talented winners walked away with prizes that included Hughes satellite terminals and free annual broadband Internet access and technical support. In addition, the Global VSAT Forum offered the winners training courses on Hughes HN and HX systems.
Commenting on the event, Arunas Slekys, vice president of corporate marketing and Russia/CIS, said, “Underlying this fun event is the importance of satellite technology in Russia’s telecom infrastructure, providing access to vital applications such as Internet access, distance learning, and telemedicine, and thereby stimulating economic and social development. The market for satellite networks and services is growing rapidly in Russia and the CIS countries, with Hughes having supplied to date over 20 operators with more than 36,000 broadband terminals—over half the market. These highly skilled VSAT installation specialists are key to making it happen.”
Today, Russia is poised to expand into high-capacity, Ka-band satellite services, and as the leading satellite technology provider in Russia and globally, Hughes is committed to helping realize this exciting vision of universally available broadband.
The highly mobile nature of today’s military organizations is requiring a shift in the way they manage communications and command and control, also known as C2. Central to the new military strategy is the increasing importance of satellite technology, which enables faster and more robust mobile communications for forces that are often distributed over a large geographical area, out of the range of traditional line-of-sight systems.
In June, Hughes demonstrated its commercially successful satellite communications on-the-move (SOTM) capabilities to a joint military audience in Canberra, Australia. The exercise was part of a larger Lockheed Martin demonstration for the Australian military’s Joint Project 2072 Battlespace Communications System, which will provide a new generation of tactical communications for the Australian Army, Navy, and Air Force, and enable network-centric warfare.
As part of the demonstration, a High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), also known as a Humvee, was outfitted with the commercial Hughes HX280 satellite router and paired with an L3 Datron SOTM antenna system to provide critical, beyond-line-of-sight C2 links. Several miles away, the command post housed the Hughes TGW100 Transportable Gateway with an FA180 1.8-meter antenna satellite terminal provided by satellite communications systems manufacturer Gigasat. This capability provided critical communications and network management systems to the static command elements, allowing single-hop wideband communications to the mobile Humvee. The network operated over the Optus D1 Ku-band satellite.
“Achieving this kind of powerful mobile solution in a compact and rugged package is a breakthrough,” said Dan Losada, senior director, Hughes Defense and Intelligence Systems Division (DISD). “It’s a testament to the power, flexibility, and capability of our HX System that we could successfully close the link between an 18” (45cm) SOTM antenna on the Humvee and a compact 1.8 meter antenna at the TGW100 gateway—reinforcing the tactical advantage of this system in the modern battlespace.”
Providing global coverage, Hughes SOTM solutions offer a full suite of mobile capabilities in a comprehensive range of network topologies and with enhanced security built in, operating in C-, X-, Ku-, or Ka-bands. Hughes SOTM solutions have endured rigorous military testing both in the U.S. and Australia, and are designed for rapid recovery during the intermittent connectivity typical of mobile applications.
Hughes SOTM solutions deliver voice, video, and data communications simultaneously over multi-megabit links. With the capability to set up a high-throughput, robust, and reliable network in just hours, the HX TGW100 transportable gateway eliminates the need to be tied to a fixed site, providing rapidly deployable network capability virtually anywhere for military, government, and first-responder organizations. The HX280 modem can be used in any platform—from a man-pack satellite terminal for special operations forces, to a C-130 or surveillance aircraft, to naval vessels.
In addition, the solution provides true joint interoperability, employing a single technology, whether utilized by the Army, Navy, or Air Force.
“With Hughes SOTM technology, military organizations have access to wideband communications in a mobile setting, enabling richer sources of intelligence and information-sharing between tactical users and headquarters,” added Rick Lober, vice president and general manager, Hughes DISD. “Achieving network-enabled warfare and the information edge is critical for today’s troops, and our partnership with military organizations utilizing the commercially successful HX System is paving the way to make these goals a reality.”
Hughes has been working closely with the Australian Defence Force, helping to define its transition to a TDMA (time division multiple access) satellite architecture, and supplying the HX System for ongoing risk-reduction testing and analysis for its major Program of Record. Hughes also recently booked its first airborne SOTM program for aerial intelligence and surveillance.
Whether for the military or for commercial and government applications such as maritime, emergency communications, and homeland security, Hughes powerful SOTM solutions are the ideal answer to provide instant networking in any environment.
Hughes was recently honored with prestigious awards from New Delhi, India to Washington, D.C., recognizing the company for innovation, leadership, and workplace excellence.
In March, Hughes Communications India Ltd. (HCIL) was recognized for the second year in a row as the Best VSAT Operator in India at the Telecom Operator Awards ceremony. Shyamal Ghosh, former secretary, Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Chairman, Telecom Commission and former administrator of the USO Fund, presented the award to Partho Banerjee, president and managing director of HCIL. The award recognizes companies that demonstrate outstanding performance in delivering world-class results in service and support in the telecom sector.
In July, Thomas J. McElroy, Senior Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer at Hughes, was honored by his peers from the Montgomery County, Maryland Chamber of Commerce at the Chamber’s 52nd Annual Dinner, when he was appointed Chairman of the Board.
Hughes was again recognized by the Alliance for Workplace Excellence (AWE) as one of the Washington, D.C. area’s best places to work with both the Workplace Excellence Seal of Approval and the Health & Wellness Trailblazer Award. In addition, Hughes was one of 22 Mid-Atlantic regional businesses to receive the EcoLeadership Award, demonstrating their commitment to environmental sustainability.
One of the beauties of technology innovation is that it doesn’t happen in a vacuum. What works in one setting can often be adapted and applied to other industries, scenarios, or purposes. Sharing a rich heritage of technology innovation with the former Hughes Aircraft Company, a longtime trusted partner of the U.S. military community, our Defense and Intelligence Systems Division (DISD) is focused on doing just that—applying successful commercial Hughes satellite networking technology for military customers.
At Hughes DISD, we’re not in the business of selling boxes; rather we provide system-level solutions that can be readily integrated into military networks. In addition, we provide related network management systems and services to operate and support those solutions. Solving difficult problems is what Hughes does well—enabling us to develop advanced communications systems that meet the needs of today’s military while helping prepare the military of tomorrow.
A case in point is our SATCOM on-the-move (SOTM) system prototype that operates with a small Ku-band antenna—less than 9 inches in diameter. Size is a critical factor for SOTM systems, especially for troops deployed in mountainous or urban conflict zones. It is the only reliable and effective solution to maintain net-centric communications; moreover, smaller antennas afford greater mobility while limiting detection by enemy forces.
Portable, proven terminals are vital to maintaining communications with the Global Information Grid (GIG), especially in demanding environments. We’ve responded to that challenge by expanding our collaborative efforts to offer the commercially successful HX broadband satellite technology for integration into a variety of lightweight terminals optimized for Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) use by U.S. and Coalition forces.
Earlier this year, we demonstrated our SOTM solution to the Australian military for its Joint Project 2072 Battlespace Communications System, which will usher in a new generation of tactical communications. (See related article: “Hughes Successfully Demonstrates SATCOM on-the-Move Down Under” in this issue of Channels.)
During a recent U.S. Coalition Warrior Interoperability Demonstration (CWID), Hughes demonstrated the homeland defense capabilities of our award-winning Ka-band SPACEWAY® 3 satellite, the world’s first commercial satellite system with onboard packet switching and routing, and 10 times the capacity of conventional, Ku-band bent-pipe satellites.
According to the CWID Final Report, SPACEWAY 3 successfully demonstrated high-definition video teleconferencing between the U.S. Northern Command, the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division, and the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, San Diego. The report noted that the SPACEWAY 3 system established a highly reliable broadband satellite link that maintained 100 percent connectivity, as well as maximized bandwidth allocation for Internet, data, VoIP, videoconferencing, and IP-based applications.
We are now in discussions with several potential customers, including the U.S. Senate, on the use of SPACEWAY 3 for emergency backup communications.
As situational awareness becomes increasingly essential for mission success, military organizations require leading-edge, cost-effective solutions with minimal set-up times. A good example is the Hughes Advanced Airborne Video Solution, which was recently demonstrated to a U.S. Government agency. Based on a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) platform that delivers unmatched performance while operating at affordable broadband satellite data rates, the Advanced Airborne Video Solution consistently delivered high-quality, D-1 video resolution using a fully configured Albatross aircraft at air-to-ground user data rates of over 2 Mbps. We are now under contract with an important U.S. Government agency to supply this type of system for border surveillance efforts.
Another recent innovation is the Hughes HX Expert Network Management System (HX ExpertNMS™), a full-featured network management system that provides superior usability. Featuring an intuitive, interactive interface and advanced diagnostics monitoring to optimize network performance, HX ExpertNMS has successfully undergone multiple trials by U.S. and Coalition military organizations. Based on these successes, our HX System will be deployed by a key U.S. Army group later this year.
Looking to the future, we’re very excited about demonstrating the capabilities of our next-generation satellite, JUPITER™, scheduled for launch in the first half of 2012. JUPITER is a true game-changer—a high-throughput, Ka-band satellite system with over 100 Gbps of capacity, 100 times greater than today’s conventional Ku-band satellites. This hasn’t gone unnoticed, as we‘ve been awarded a $1 million study to show how JUPITER and other Hughes system-level satellite solutions can help the U.S. Air Force fill the gap left by the cancellation of the Transformational Satellite Communications System (TSAT) program in 2009.
With the talents and dedication of our people building on the solid foundation of Hughes commercial technology, we see continued strong growth of our customer base and a bright future for Hughes DISD
Hughes 2011 Seminars around the World
14th Annual Hughes Technology Seminar, Moscow (May)
SatCom Africa 2011 Seminar, Johannesburg, South Africa (May)
CommunicAsia 2011 Seminar, Singapore (June)
Ka-band satellite broadband once again took center stage at Hughes seminars from Moscow to Johannesburg to Singapore. Highlighting the seminars were the latest developments in Ka-band satellite technology and services globally, including advanced dual-mode Ka-/Ku-band HN Systems and terminals and on-the-move platforms for airplanes, trains, and ships.
The seminars featured interactive discussions on the current state and future of broadband satellite technology by executives from leading service providers in the respective regions. Other participants included systems integrators, satellite operators, and key government officials and media.
“These annual seminars bring together each region’s premier satellite service providers to share their experiences and give us valuable feedback,” said Robert Feierbach, vice president of global sales and marketing, International Division at Hughes. “Innovation is why we lead, and this kind of active dialogue with our customers ensures that we design and build solutions that truly meet their needs—enabling us to maximize the value of the latest in technology advances.”
The promise of Ka-band is simple but profound: More capacity at faster speeds to smaller dishes. That means more choices and affordable options for more users.
The promise is already being realized in North America where Hughes leads the consumer satellite broadband market with more than 620,000 HughesNet®; subscribers. And now it’s making an impact in Europe where there are an estimated 30 million households and small businesses without access to high-speed terrestrial broadband.
Thanks to a partnership between Avanti Communications Group plc and Hughes, this underserved market will now be able to get high-speed Internet by satellite. In April 2011, Avanti launched broadband service via its HYLAS 1 satellite, Europe’s first dedicated high-throughput Ka-band broadband satellite, which will be followed in 2012 by the launch of HYLAS 2. Hughes is supplying all the ground systems and customer terminals for both satellites and has also acquired capacity from Avanti to deliver broadband services, both to its own customers and indirectly through value-added resellers and distributors.
To date, Avanti has deployed more than 3,000 HN9200 terminals on HYLAS 1, enabling up to 10 Mbps download speeds to residential customers in Scotland and Ireland. In addition, Avanti resellers have taken delivery of more than 10,000 terminals that will connect customers in other parts of Europe.
Employing three gateway stations equipped with 48 HN System hubs, HYLAS 2 will provide even greater coverage—all of Europe and parts of the Middle East and Africa. Hughes expects to deliver equipment in late 2011 and early 2012, and launch of live services is scheduled for the second quarter of 2012. The combined capacity of the two satellites will reach approximately one million users, including consumers, small businesses, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and armed services personnel.
Avanti and Hughes are employing a multi-layered distribution strategy to bring high-speed Internet service quickly to the highest number of customers possible. Avanti is providing service through resellers in 23 countries using Hughes equipment. Hughes Europe is also directly setting up resellers; for example, leading international satellite services provider Bentley Walker has purchased an initial quantity of HN terminals to deliver Ka-band Internet services to the consumer broadband market in the U.K.
In a third approach to the market, Hughes and Avanti are working together to support the rural broadband projects of European countries through major telecom operators such as British Telecom, Telecom Italia, and Telefonica.
The Avanti-Hughes Ka-band initiative provides an ideal opportunity for resellers to extend their reach into the lucrative consumer market with a high-speed Internet offering, particularly in rural and remote areas—broadening the scope of their own solution offerings such as security, telephone, and integrated router systems.
“By working with Hughes and Avanti, a reseller gets the best-branded satellite networking equipment, service, and support in the world,” said Chris Britton, managing director, Hughes Europe. “It adds instant credibility when a satellite service is powered by Hughes equipment.”
“We don’t want to just ship terminals,” added Britton. “Our strategy is to provide the best ongoing support and training to ensure resellers succeed—some of whom may be entering the satellite Internet market for the first time.”
Recognizing that Internet access empowers its citizens by linking them to the vast reservoir of information that is the Web, the European Union has made universal broadband coverage its target by 2013. Many European countries are funding local “Broadband Everywhere” initiatives to expand coverage as quickly as possible. For example, British Telecom has purchased bandwidth from Avanti along with Hughes terminals to support a broadband initiative in Cornwall, England.
“We know there is not a single solution,” said Britton. “It will take multiple technologies to bring broadband everywhere. Satellite is a significant player and is especially valuable in supporting developing businesses as countries come out of recession. Compounded by the drive towards cloud computing, high-speed Internet by satellite enables smaller communities to grow in their own environments and employ local people—thereby spreading the wealth and improving the overall economy.”
While Avanti is tackling the underserved broadband market in Europe, Star Satellite Communications Company PJSC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Al Yah Satellite Communications Company PrJSC (Yahsat), is making similar strides in the Middle East and Africa. Based in the United Arab Emirates, Yahsat launched its first broadband Ka-band satellite, Yahsat 1A, in 2011 for military use, and will launch its second satellite, Yahsat 1B, later this year to provide services for the commercial market.
In addition to supplying all the ground system equipment, including high-performance, Ka-band HN hubs, gateways, and customer terminals, Hughes will also provide outsourced Operational Support Systems (OSS) and Business Support Systems (BSS) services for Yahsat 1B. Spearheading the industry’s move to high-capacity Ka-band satellite systems, the Hughes HN9200 and HN9400 series of routers are specifically designed to deliver the maximum performance on today’s Ku- and Ka-band platforms, while being future-proof for next-generation high-throughput systems. Hughes made its first shipment of HN System gateway equipment and satellite terminals to Yahsat in August.
Yahsat will leverage the high-throughput capability of Yahsat 1B and the Hughes HN System to provide its YahClick Ka-band broadband Internet access and other applications to large and small enterprises, governments, and consumers in 26 countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Southwest Asia. Service is expected to launch in 2012.
The Yahsat initiative is the first mass market consumer broadband satellite offering in the region, with a range of YahClick service plans of up to 5 Mbps, initially targeted to rural and remote areas with limited broadband access. The offering will also provide more choices to urban customers.
“Partnering with Hughes will help Yahsat to fast-track the rapid rollout of YahClick service in 27 countries during 2012,” said Jassem Mohamed Al Zaabi, CEO of Yahsat. “YahClick will bring the Internet to millions of underserved and unserved people and organizations at costs comparable to terrestrial services.”
“The market has migrated towards satellite because of its affordability, scalability, and reliability,” said Soheil Mehrabanzad, assistant vice president for Hughes in the Middle East and Africa. “Bringing high-quality and high-speed Internet by satellite to consumers in the region will make an enormous difference to the quality of life of its citizens.”
Now that it’s been unleashed, there’s no stopping the Ka-band wave. The success of HughesNet in North America is now poised to be repeated in Europe, the Middle East and soon in Russia, Latin America, and Australia—all with numerous Ka-band initiatives being planned And it should be no surprise that the leader in broadband satellite networks and services today will continue to power the growth of new Ka-band customers across the globe in the future.
The ideal communications network for a nation’s power grid requires multiple transport technologies and standards, including terrestrial fixed and wireless broadband, all coalescing around an IP backbone. However, a terrestrial-only architecture is vulnerable to disasters on the ground, whether natural or man-made, and cannot alone ensure fail-safe operations. To achieve this means employing a true alternate communications path, which only satellite provides. The resulting hybrid terrestrial and satellite network can realize the high reliability and availability demanded across the entire grid, including the necessary combination of reach, capacity, and bandwidth scalability.
As a case in point, Hughes Communications India, Ltd. (HCIL) was recently awarded two significant contracts in association with the Restructured Accelerated Power Development & Reforms Programme. Hughes will provide Jaipur Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited with broadband satellite services connecting 825 locations in Rajasthan, and will deploy a network of 713 satellite terminals for the five utility companies in Karnataka (BESCOM, CESCOM, MESCOM, GESCOM and HESCOM). In all, 47 distribution companies (DISCOMs) across 29 states will benefit through Hughes technology solutions that will assist them in their initiatives to cut line losses and increase grid productivity in India.
The excitement is building as Hughes once again pushes the state of the art with JUPITER™, the company’s next-generation Ka-band satellite to be launched in 2012. A true game-changer, JUPITER is designed with over 100 Gbps capacity to further fuel the soaring HughesNet® consumer business in North America and will serve from 1.5 to 2 million subscribers, more than double the number on the company’s award-winning SPACEWAY® 3 satellite system.
Capacity like this is transformational for the satellite broadband industry. Let’s take a closer look some other interesting facts about JUPITER.
Q. 100 Gbps—how does that compare with a conventional Ku-band satellite?
A. JUPITER’s capacity is equal to approximately 80 Ku-band satellites Q. What is JUPITER’s orbital life expectancy? A. 15 years or more
Q. How tall will JUPITER stand?
A. Approximately 28 feet (8.5 meters) tall
Q. What is the length of its wing span?
A. 85 ½ feet (26 meters)
Q. What is JUPITER’s mass?
A. 6,100 kilograms (13,448 lbs.). A little more than half of that will be the satellite. The rest will be the fuel, most of which will be consumed to get JUPITER into orbit. Only about four percent of the mass is the fuel required to keep the satellite in orbit for its lifetime.
Q. What will it take to get JUPITER into orbit?
A. To get JUPITER into orbit requires 450 metric tons of propellant, which is more than 70 times the weight of the satellite.
Q. So when is all this going to happen?
A. Satellites can’t be constructed overnight. It takes 33 months to build a satellite of this magnitude. Then it will take three months to get it launched, checked out in orbit, and brought on to live service, which is planned for the second quarter of 2012.
Look for more interesting facts about JUPITER in future issues of Channels—as we get closer to countdown!
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