Arabsat orders Arabsat-7A software-defined satellite from Thales Alenia Space

by | May 3, 2022 | Satellites, Seradata News

Riyadh-based fleet operator Arabsat has ordered the construction of Arabsat-7A, its first fully flexible Software-Defined Satellite (SDS), after signing a contract with Thales Alenia Space on 29 April. Arabsat-7A will replace the majority of the existing C- and Ku-band capacity on Arabsat-5A in geostationary Earth orbit (GEO) which is nearing the end of its expected operational life (it was launched in 2010 with a life expectancy of 15 years). It will be developed with extra high-throughput Ku-band capacity to enable the company to expand its services across government and military, mobility, enterprise and oil and gas.

Arabsat, which currently runs two satellite control stations, said that it will use the new software-defined geostationary satellite to offer its services across the Middle East, Africa and parts of Europe, according to a statement.

Arabsat 7A, artistically depicted above, will be the Saudi Arabian company’s first fully software-defined GEO satellite. Courtesy: Thales Alenia Space

Founded in 1976 the Saudi Arabian company currently operates 10 satellites and carries over 500 TV channels, catering largely to audiences in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

European company Thales Alenia Space, a joint venture between Thales and Leonardo, said the new satellite will be built based on its Space Inspire platform which, it claims, will allow instant in-orbit adjustment to broadband demand.

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