International Launch Services (ILS) has announced the availability of a 5 meter diameter payload fairing (PLF) for use with both the Proton Breeze M and Proton Medium launch systems for commercial launch services beginning in first quarter of 2020. The 5 meter PLF addresses the increased volume of today’s larger satellites required to satisfy High-Throughput Satellite (HTS) broadband capacity demands, stacked satellite height requirements, and supports multiple satellites for efficient deployment of large LEO constellations.
Kirk Pysher, ILS President said, “The introduction of the 5 meter fairing is in direct response to our customers’ request for additional payload envelope capability to accommodate their evolving spacecraft designs. The 5 meter fairing in combination with optimized mission designs and the performance flexibility provided by the Proton M and Proton Medium launch vehicles, allows ILS to provide our customers with innovative, cost effective launch solutions that maximizes their satellites expected operational lifetime.”
”Khrunichev State Research and Production Center (Khrunichev) has successfully completed their planned 2016 feasibility study which focused on developing the required technologies and design needed to support the 5 meter PLF development. The next phase of the program has begun with the start of detailed design activities for a 5 meter PLF with a selected baseline length of 16.25 meters to envelope the projected commercial satellite market requirements while minimizing Proton vehicle impacts. The 5 meter PLF will undergo a rigorous test program including aerodynamic modeling, static and dynamic structural tests, PLF separation and jettison tests, and acoustic testing,” said Jim Kramer, Vice President of Engineering and Mission Assurance.” The Proton Breeze M vehicle is the heritage, 3-stage heavy-lift vehicle, with over 410 missions to date since 1965. The two-stage Proton Medium vehicle will serve the medium class satellite range starting in 2018. Both launch vehicles are manufactured by Khrunichev.