HISPASAT, the Spanish satellite and telecommunications operator, successfully launched its eleventh satellite, Amazonas 5, at 21:23 last night, Spanish time, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, on-board the Proton Breeze M launch vehicle of the International Launch Services (ILS) company.
Approximately 9 hours and 12 minutes after rocket lift-off, the Amazonas 5 satellite separated from the launch vehicle, at which point it was started up and the solar panels were deployed. From that moment on, manoeuvres began in order to position the new satellite at the geostationary orbit point where the test phase will be carried out to make sure it is working properly, which is scheduled to last several weeks. Once the tests are passed, the satellite will be placed in its definitive orbital position at 61º West. The satellite will be operated by the Brazilian subsidiary of the company, HISPAMAR.
The launch of Amazonas 5 was carried out on the same day that the satellite operator launched the first Spanish telecommunications satellite into the space, the Hispasat 30W-1 (Hispasat 1A), 25 years ago, which was launched in French Guiana also on September 11.
Carlos Espinós, CEO of the Spanish operator, affirmed that “for HISPASAT, this new satellite implies the reaffirmation of the company’s international vocation and, specifically, of our commitment to the Latin American market. We have worked in this region for many years and we have acquired considerable experience and extensive knowledge of the needs of the clients in these countries. For this reason, we have designed a satellite completely dedicated to Latin America and adapted to this market’s demands, both for the audio-visual sector as well as to offer connectivity solutions in residential, corporate and mobility segments”.
The Amazonas 5 is based on Space Systems Loral’s (SSL) 1300 platform and has a power of 9.9 kilowatts and an estimated useful life of 15 years. The flexibility offered by Amazonas 5 and its large technological capacity allow it to offer a wide range of communication services.
Its 24 transponders in the Ku band, with coverage of Central and South America, provide high performance direct-to-home television (DTH) services. The Amazonas 5 will enable the television service providers that operate with HISPASAT to transmit 500 new channels, which will consolidate 61º West as the leading position for the broadcast of these services in Latin America. This satellite will also be key for promoting 4K TV in the region.
It also has 34 spots in the Ka band to provide connectivity services to more than a half a million people in several of the main countries in Central and South America. Furthermore, the Amazonas 5 will offer efficient and competitive satellite Internet services to the operators in the region, as well as transportation or backhaul services to provide their 3G, LTE and even 5G cellular networks.
This new satellite was designed, manufactured and tested in SSL’s installations in Palo Alto, California (USA). An important section of the Spanish industry participated in its manufacturing:
Thales Alenia Space Spain
Airbus Defence & Space
HISPASAT, loyal to its innovative vocation and the support it lends to the Spanish industry, has gotten on board the Amazonas 5 in testing a completely experimental load developed by DAS Photonics. It is an optic radiofrequency distributor, a prototype of a system that could be especially important in satellites that have the Ka band since, by being multi-beam missions, they require an elevated number of receptors. With this novel element, complexity in the input section of the satellite would be greatly reduced, and it is here that hundreds of frequency conversions should be carried out, which in the future could be carried out with this single component that would distribute the signals to each receptor. In this way, the mass and the volume of the satellite would also be reduced and isolation between broadcasting and reception of the signal would be improved.