Hughes Network Systems is working with The Boeing Company to manufacture and put into orbit a constellation of satellites for high-speed communication. Hughes Network Systems is a world leader in broadband satellite networks, and is set to introduce their next-generation communication satellite system, dubbed Spaceway, after the launch of the first satellite later this year. The new antenna system, erected at the CSIR, is now ready to track, command and monitor the Spaceway satellites as they are placed into orbit.
The Boeing Company and the CSIR joined forces in project managing the design and implementation of this Ka band facility. Ka band refers to very high frequencies that have not - until now - been used for operational telemetry, tracking and command tasks and therefore partnering on this cutting-edge project remains a challenging and exciting experience.
Speaking at the inauguration event, Boeing President Africa, Dr. Walt Braithwaite, said: "Our commitment to doing business on this continent was further proven when we opened extensions of our Corporate offices here in South Africa and West Africa two years ago. Our relationship in Africa dates back to the late 1950s. Since then, we have continued to play a role in transfer of technology here and on the rest of the continent."
The Spaceway satellites will be launched over a period of several years and will provide bandwidth-on-demand direct to the office and home, with the initial service roll-out in the USA. The Boeing Company is erecting two other ground stations - both in the USA - to monitor and control the satellites during their 15-year design lifetime - with the CSIR station the first to be completed.
"Selecting partners for the ground support of multi-million dollar satellite projects is done only after rigorous evaluation - with track record, technical know-how and reliability as key indicators," said Dr. Sibusiso Sibisi, CSIR President. "Today I wish to thank The Boeing Company for the trust it has put in its South African partnership over these years. We hope that the relationship will continue to prosper and that many future South African radio frequency and systems engineers and technicians will benefit as they continue to interface with their peers at Boeing on this project, and hopefully others. The enormous risks and pressures associated with the satellite industry require a special relationship."
"Over many years, The Boeing Company has repeatedly selected the CSIR to keep a watchful eye on its own and its satellite customers' orbiting assets. During the 1990's the CSIR supported Boeing's Delta II and Delta III launch vehicles; in 2001 we modified certain of our existing systems to support the XM Radio satellites; from 1998 onwards we have rendered ground support for numerous satellites in Ku/DBS band including PAS-10, DTV and Bonum and in 2002 the CSIR was also officially contracted to render ground support for Boeing¿s new Delta IV launch vehicles", said Sibisi.
The CSIR is the largest R&D and implementation technology agency in Africa with a track record spanning more than 50 years. Structured around eight distinct business areas, it delivers innovation and technology solutions in support of its clients and stakeholders.
Headquartered in Chicago, Ill., The Boeing Company is the largest aerospace company in the world with a diversified portfolio in commercial jetliners, air traffic management, wide-band airborne internet connection, capital services, integrated defense systems, launch vehicles, satellites, and advanced information and communication systems. The company has an extensive global reach with customers in 145 countries.
Johann Pheiffer, Boeing-Africa,
27-11-477-7986 - office,
27-83-253-3890 - mobile
Boeing - Seattle,
email Lewis Brinson or
BACKGROUND AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
- The CSIR Satellite Applications Centre has been providing Telemetry, Tracking and Command (TT&C) support to international satellite operators and launchers for over 40 years and is known world-wide as a provider of quality satellite support services. The SAC's geographical location in South Africa makes it a favourable site for support of satellites launched from facilities such as Kourou, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Kennedy Space Flight Centre, and Baikonur and for in-orbit support of low earth orbit and geo-stationary satellites in the Africa, Europe and Middle East regions.
- The Boeing Company is the largest aerospace company in the world with a diversified portfolio in commercial jetliners, air traffic management, wide-band airborne Internet connection, capital services, integrated defense systems, launch vehicles, satellites, and advanced information and communication systems. The company has an extensive global reach with customers in 145 countries.
- With the addition of the Ka band antenna, the CSIR now becomes one of the first ground stations globally that can offer Telemetry, Tracking and Command support from L band through to Ka band.
- The new antenna has a diameter of 13.2m; a slew rate of two degrees per second; allows for both programmed and automatic tracking of satellites; will be able to measure the range of a satellite at 36 000km to an accuracy of 10m; operates in frequencies from 17.7 - 31.0GHz; has been licensed to operate by the Independent Communication Authorty of South Africa (ICASA); has a dish surface accuracy of 0.1 mm; and sports full duplication of all RF components.