By Andy Sambidge
Y1B completes early orbit phase operations, deploys solar panels and reflectors
Astrium, Europe's leading space company, has successfully completed the early orbit phase operations of the Y1B satellite and has passed control over to Abu Dhabi's Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (Yahsat).
Astrium and Thales Alenia Space (TAS), co-prime contractors of the Yahsat satellite, said in a statement that it will continue to support the UAE satellite telecommunications operator during payload testing prior to entry into service.
Astrium took control of Y1B upon separation of Proton Breeze M upper stage and injection in geostationary transfer orbit.
Following spacecraft initialisation and a series of manoeuvres, the satellite has reached geostationary orbit and fully deployed its solar panels and four antenna reflectors.
The testing of the satellite platform was completed smoothly and the payload was switched on as planned at the operational position, a statement said.
In sending the first command to the satellite on May 13, Yahsat CEO Tareq Abdulraheem Al Hosani said: "I am extremely pleased with all the work carried out by Astrium and Thales Alenia Space in the building and early operations of our second satellite Y1B.
"Y1A, the first satellite in our fleet, which was launched in 2011, has allowed us to start offering entirely new services to our customers, and we are convinced that the arrival of Y1B will enhance the quality of coverage we provide in our sphere of operations."
Y1B will provide Ka-band communications to its commercial and governmental users in the Middle East, Africa and South-West Asia.
Thanks to its Ka-band multi-spot beam technology, Y1B will offer high-speed broadband internet services to its private and institutional customers.
With a launch mass of approximately 6,000kg and a spacecraft power of 14kW, Y1B has a lifetime design of more than 15 years.
Yahsat provides multipurpose satellite solutions for broadband, broadcast, military and Communications use across the Middle East, Africa and South West Asia.
Based in Abu Dhabi, and wholly owned by Mubadala, Yahsat is the first company in the Middle East and Africa to offer multi-purpose satellite services.