By Andy Sambidge
Mubadala unit completes design review for Al Yah 3 which will deliver affordable broadband in South America
Al Yah Satellite Communications Company, also known as Yahsat, has announced that the preliminary design review for its third satellite has been completed.
Yahsat, the UAE-based satellite operator which is a wholly owned unit of the Mubadala Development Company, said in a statement that the review is the first step toward confirming that the satellite will operate effectively in orbit.
Company officials also confirmed that they are on track to launch the Al Yah 3 satellite in the fourth quarter of 2016 and it will target markets in South America.
It has been designed, manufactured and tested at the satellite manufacturing facility of its partner Orbital Sciences Corporation in the US, the statement said.
Marcus Vilaça, acting chief technical officer said: "The Preliminary Design Review is an industry standard process where our engineers review and confirm the overall architecture and design of our Al Yah 3 satellite.
"This is a significant step forward in the development phase of Al Yah 3 and ensures that we are on track to launch as scheduled for Q4 2016. While progress is underway with developing our third satellite, we are actively engaging with potential partners in Africa and Brazil enabling us to deploy much needed connectivity to underserved markets."
Once operational, Al Yah 3 will enable the delivery of affordable broadband, to over 600 million users, specifically covering more than 95 percent of the population in Brazil and 60 percent of the population in Africa.
"This important milestone is a key step towards the Al Yah 3 launch," added Christopher Richmond, Orbital's senior vice president. "Al Yah 3 will be the first hybrid electric propulsion GEOStar-3-based spacecraft to be launched by Orbital at the end of 2016. It provides the benefits of higher power and greater payload capability while still maintaining advantageous launch costs."
Yahsat 's first satellite Y1A was successfully launched in April 2011, and the company's second satellite Y1B was launched in April 2012.