Saudi Arabia To Launch Its 16th Satellite Into Space Today

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The Kingdom will launch its 16th satellite into space on Tuesday: The Saudi Geostationary Satellite 1 (SGS-1).

It will provide telecommunications capabilities, stronger internet connectivity, TV and secure communications in the Middle East, North Africa and Europe.

Developed by a team from King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), it will be launched in French Guiana by Arianespace, which provides launch services for all types of satellites.

KACST, a government institution that supports and enhances applied research, collaborated with Lockheed Martin to manufacture the SGS-1.

The institution has so far launched 15 satellites into the low Earth orbit, said the SGS-1 program director from KACST, Dr. Badr Al-Suwaidan.

KACST has collaborated with China in the Chang’e 4 mission to explore the far side of the moon; provided advanced services for remote-sensing systems; and participated in the launch of an advanced system for maritime monitoring and tracking with satellite data, which includes daily coverage of 30,000 vessels worldwide.

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The SGS-1 was manufactured, tested and operated with the participation of Saudi engineers and scientists.

The agreement of the launch service between Arianespace, Arabsat and KACST was announced in 2015.

The satellite will be launched by the Guiana Space Centre, which is located in French Guiana because it is near the equator; it has a small population, and it is not prone to natural disasters. The vehicle that will launch the satellite is the European Ariane 5.

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The Ka-band allows for higher bandwidth communication, supporting greater frequency reuse in geographically isolated spots. Spot beams are satellite signals that are concentrated in power so that they cover a limited geographic area. Spot beams are used so that only Earth-based stations in a particular area can properly receive the satellite signal.

The SGS-1 was assembled at Lockheed Martin’s facilities in Denver, Colorado and Sunnyvale, California. In Sunnyvale, it underwent critical environmental testing. The SGS-1 will be the 46th Lockheed Martin satellite to be launched by Arianespace. The launcher’s main stage will splash down in the Gulf of Guinea.


Source: Arab News


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