New Boeing Satellite Platform Drawing Lots of Customer Interest

WASHINGTON — Boeing is reviewing 14 separate requests for data or bid solicitations for business telecommunications satellites from potential prospects within the firm’s new all-electric 702SP satellite tv for pc design, Boeing officers mentioned March 19.

Boeing has not offered an all-electric satellite tv for pc because it created a sensation within the business in March 2012 with the information that it had booked its first 702SP prospects with a four-satellite order from Asia Broadcast Satellite tv for pc (ABS) of Hong Kong and Satmex of Mexico. The satellites use electrical quite than chemical propulsion not solely to take care of their place in orbit but additionally to climb to geostationary place from the switch orbits the place they’re left by their launch autos.

The a number of hundred kilograms of weight financial savings that comes from ditching the chemical propellant signifies that a midsize satellite tv for pc successfully turns into a small spacecraft able to being launched, two at a time, aboard a House Exploration Applied sciences (SpaceX) Falcon 9 rocket.

Trade officers have mentioned ABS and Satmex, by grouping their order and by being Boeing’s inaugural 702SP prospects, paid round $85 million per satellite tv for pc, with every dividing the $60 million value of a Falcon 9 rocket. Utilizing an all-electric design means having to attend a number of months for the satellite tv for pc to climb into geostationary place, a maneuver that on a conventionally fueled satellite tv for pc takes solely every week or so.

Since Boeing received its preliminary order, different satellite tv for pc builders have mentioned they might speed up their very own all-electric designs. Astrium Satellites of Europe is already providing an all-electric model of its Eurostar platform to prospects. Thales Alenia House of France and Italy says it is going to have its personal all-electric mannequin prepared for the market in 2016.

Lockheed Martin Industrial House Techniques of Newtown, Pa., and House Techniques/Loral of Palo Alto, Calif., have additionally mentioned they might offer all-electric merchandise.

China has begun work by itself satellite tv for pc electrical propulsion system, and the 20-nation European House Company has simply funded a undertaking known as Electra that, with an help from business satellite tv for pc fleet operator SES of Luxembourg, ought to end in offering satellite tv for pc builder OHB AG of Germany with a competing all-electric satellite tv for pc platform.

Whereas Boeing expects the 702SP to take the market by storm, the corporate mentioned it’s engaged on different, unrelated applied sciences that ought to attraction to business fleet operators. Particularly, phased-array antennas and digital sign processors, which Boeing constructed for a number of U.S. army satellites, are the main focus of the corporate’s inside analysis and growth funding. The purpose: Get the worth of the processors and the antennas low sufficient to attraction to business operators.

U.S. satellite tv for pc tv broadcaster DirecTV Group of Los Angeles and satellite tv for pc broadband supplier Hughes Community Techniques of Germantown, Md., are utilizing a mixed three Spaceway satellites initially constructed as a part of a broadband undertaking that was deserted. Each corporations have raved in regards to the flexibility offered by the Boeing-built Spaceway satellites, and particularly their potential to regulate energy and protection based mostly on market demand in the course of the satellites’ lives.

However each corporations have reverted to extra typical bent-pipe satellites of their current orders as a result of the Spaceway expertise stays too costly a decade after the Spaceway satellites have been constructed.

Craig R. Cooning, basic supervisor of Seal Seaside, Calif.-based Boeing House and Intelligence Techniques, mentioned it’s a lengthy effort, however Boeing believes the price of these applied sciences could be delivered to throughout the vary of the business market.

Cooning mentioned business satellites now account for 30 p.c of Boeing House and Intelligence Techniques’ annual income, in contrast with 8 p.c 4 years in the past.

 

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