Orbital ATK, a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, today announced that the Al Yah 3 satellite has arrived at its launch site in Kourou, French Guiana, for its upcoming launch on an Arianespace rocket in January 2018. Al Yah 3, built for Al Yah Satellite Communications Company PrJSC (Yahsat), a leading global satellite operator, is the first hybrid electric propulsion GEOStar-3™ satellite to be completed by Orbital ATK. The satellite was built at the company’s satellite manufacturing facility in Dulles, Virginia, and shipped to the launch site on November 28. Al Yah 3 will extend Yahsat’s commercial Ka-band coverage to an additional 600 million users across Africa and Brazil.
Al Yah 3 is an all Ka-band high-throughput and light-weight satellite that sets a new standard for affordability and payload flexibility in its class. The spacecraft will provide affordable broadband communications to 60% of Africa’s population and more than 95% of Brazil’s population.
“Today’s delivery highlights the teamwork and cooperation between Orbital ATK and Yahsat that brings us one step closer to advancing our customer’s goals,” said Amer Khouri, Vice President of the Commercial Satellite Business at Orbital ATK. “With the satellite now in Kourou, we look forward to working with both Yahsat and Arianespace to prepare for a successful launch in January.”
“Al Yah 3 is a significant milestone in realizing our vision at Yahsat. Extending our affordable broadband services to 60% of the people in Africa and more than 95% in Brazil to bridge the digital divide and enable a more connected world is core to our strategy. We look forward to the successful launch of Al Yah 3 and thereafter furthering our ambitions via future missions to support more growth for YahClick, and for our other business lines such as commercial in-flight connectivity,” said Marcus Vilaca, Chief Technology Officer at Yahsat.
The GEOStar-3 platform is the newest, highest power and most advanced platform in the flight-proven GEOStar product line. The spacecraft bus features an increase in both battery capacity and solar array power, enabling the GEOStar-3 to provide up to 8 kilowatts of power to the payload. The hybrid electric propulsion system provides the benefits of higher power and greater payload capability while maintaining cost-effective launches and a faster path to orbit than all electric systems.