Launching satellites is a very complex and risky business. The launch into orbit has all manner of steps and a catastrophic fault can happen at multiple points along the way. The loss of a very expensive satellite can be something that firms don’t recover from for a long time. A European company called Eutelsat has announced that yesterday its latest KA-SAT was put into orbit using a Proton Breeze M rocket.
The satellite the rocket inserted into orbit was a massive 6-ton unit that will be used for broadband connectivity. The satellite has 82 narrow spot beams that connect with ten different ground stations. The configuration allows the frequencies to be reused 20 times and offers total data throughput of more than 70Gbps.
The ground network for the satellite will use ViaSat SurfBeam tech to provide web connectivity for users. Similar tech is used for 450,000 homes in the US. The KA-SAT will boost the download speeds of the Eutelsat Tooway consumer broadband service to 10Mbps. The final phase of validation testing will be complete by the end of May 2011.