SATELLITES ARE OFTEN the best option for operators seeking to fill service gaps in mobile-communications networks. For Telesat's customers, for example, the new Telstar 14R/Estrela do Sul 2 is expected to bring advanced communications capability to some rather remote areas. The results could be life-changing in terms of healthcare, emergency response, and other applications. Such benefits will soon be leveraged, as Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) delivered the satellite ahead of schedule for the start of its launch campaign.

The Telstar 14R/Estrela do Sul 2, which is a Ku-band satellite, was completed in under two years (see photo). It has 46 Ku-band transponders27 that are fixed and 19 that are switchable. It also boasts five antenna beams with on-orbit switching capability, which permits its capacity to be reconfigured according to market demand. With approximately 12 kW of end-of-life power, the Telstar 14R is designed to deliver service for 15 years or more. It will provide signals to growing markets including Brazil, the continental US, the north Atlantic Ocean region, and the Andean and southern cone region of South America.

The Telstar 14R/Estrela do Sul 2 will be positioned at 63 deg. west longitude. It will replace the Telstar 14/ Estrela do Sul, which also was built by SS/L. Compared to its predecessor, the new satellite is expected to provide almost double the capacity with increased geographic coverage and power. The satellite has already arrived at the Baikonur Space Center in Kazakhstan. Late this month, it will be launched aboard an ILS Proton Breeze M vehicle provided by International Launch Services (ILS).

In addition to extending the reach of communications, Telesat is providing solutions for customers that need IP networking and the transmission of video content. The Telstar 11N, which was launched previously, provides service from 39 high-powered, Ku-band transponders that connect three continents: North America, Western Europe, and Africa. In addition, its Atlantic Ocean beam will support growing demand for mobile broadband communications from maritime and aeronautical markets. It is now operating from 37.5 deg. west longitude. Also built by SS/L, the Telstar 11N has a design life of 15 years.