Together with its partners, Thales has launched its new SES-17 satellite, which aims to address the demand for high-speed connectivity across South America, North America, the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean.
SES-17 is a very high throughput communications satellite, claimed to be the most powerful ever deployed by SES. It is designed to give the company’s customers high-powered, flexible and continuous connectivity services , covering North and South America, the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean.
Based on the Spacebus NEO platform with all-electric propulsion, SES-17 features an all-digital payload with a new fifth-generation 200 GHz digital transparent processor (DTP5G), the only one of its kind in orbit to date. With this processor, SES-17 can create a virtually unlimited number of communication channels, and also connect its 200 beams to any other at any given moment to deliver up to 2 Gbps throughput per connection.
Commenting on aviation’s impressive recovery within the Americas post-COVID, Craig Olson, VP connectivity solutions at Thales InFlyt Experience said: “We’re seeing upwards of ten times the amount of demand [for inflight connectivity] in recent times. That means you’re going to have to have an asset that can provide that capacity with the kinds of speed and performance that is expected of the user. We’re confident that SES-17 will be able to serve upwards of 50% of the entirety of the traffic that will flow in the Americas.”
The spacecraft launched on 22 October 2021 by Arianespace from the Guiana SpaceCentre in Kourou, French Guiana. The satellite will enter into operation in the first half of 2022.