Many industries are eying opportunities in Indonesia and Northeast and Southeast Asia, thanks to the rapid economic growth of those areas. For example, satellite operator SES SA has contracted Boeing for a new satellite to expand direct-to-home broadcasting and other communications services to those markets (see figure). This satellite also will provide maritime communications for vessels in the Indian Ocean.

Dubbed SES-9, this Ku-band 702 high-power (HP) satellite will be built in Boeing’s El Segundo, CA Satellite Development Center (see photo). It is designed to operate for 15 years in geosynchronous orbit with a 12.7-kW payload and 57 high-power Ku-band transponders (equivalent to 81 36-MHz transponders). Boeing introduced the 702 satellite design more than 15 years ago and has evolved the design since then. For instance, this satellite’s xenon-ion propulsion and chemical bi-propellant systems are uniquely designed to reduce the spacecraft’s launch weight while allowing for maximum payload capacity.

The spacecraft, which will be co-located with SES’ existing SES-7 and NSS-11 satellites, will be positioned at 108.2 deg. east longitude. It will provide incremental additional as well as replacement communications capacity. This is the 11th spacecraft that SES has ordered from Boeing and the contract includes an option for another.