SES has given an order to Airbus Defence and Space to build its new hybrid communications satellite, SES-12, to serve the fast growing DTH (Direct-to-Home) television, data, mobile communications and government markets in Asia. The spacecraft will be positioned in Geostationary orbit at 95 degrees East replacing the NSS-6 satellite
The spacecraft will be based on the Airbus DS Eurostar E3000 bus design and will operate for a minimum of 15 years. SES-12 will be equipped with an electric plasma propulsion system for orbit raising which will take three to six months as well as for on-orbit manoeuvres during the life of the spacecraft. However SES-12 also carry a back up chemical thruster package.
The satellite’s communications payload consists of 68 high-power physical Ku-band transponders and 8 physical Ka-band transponders. The payload of the hybrid SES-12 satellite consists of two distinct but complementary missions: first, traditional wide beam coverage, and second, a high-powered Ku-band multi spot beam payload (HTS). The traditional wide-beam mission consists of 54 (36 MHz equivalent) transponders. The second mission consists of 70 Ku-band spot beams and 11 Ka-band spot beams delivering over 14 GHz for VSAT, Enterprise, Mobility and Government applications. This mission also includes a Digital Transparent Processor (DTP) which provides anti-jamming capabilities as well as increased payload flexibility in order to provide customized bandwidth solutions to SES customers.