London (PRWEB UK) 9 December 2013
Inmarsat (LSE:ISAT.L), the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services, announces the successful launch of first Inmarsat-5 Global Xpress® satellite. It was launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on 8 December on a Proton Breeze M rocket. The launch is a major milestone in the development of GX Aviation, which will provide the world’s airlines and aircraft operators with the first global high speed mobile broadband service.
Inmarsat is the owner and commercial operator of the Global Xpress constellation. By the close of 2014, the fleet will comprise three high throughput satellites and GX Aviation will offer a unique combination of seamless global Ka-band coverage from a single operator, consistent performance of up to 50Mbps, and the network reliability for which Inmarsat is renowned. In addition to passenger communications, it will support real-time TV and live feeds from the internet, for example, and will offer airlines future-proofed connectivity with ample broadband capacity for growth.
Miranda Mills, Inmarsat President, Aviation said: “We are getting closer and closer to the introduction of GX Aviation. It will revolutionize inflight connectivity for both passengers and crew. The successful launch of this satellite means that we are well on track to providing the world’s first globally available, high speed mobile broadband service in 2015.”
The I-5 satellites are built by Boeing Satellite Systems International Inc., based on the proven 702HP design. Inmarsat-5 F1 is part of a US$1.6 billion investment by Inmarsat into the next generation of global mobile broadband communications.
The satellite was correctly acquired by the Inmarsat Paumalu station at 17:48 GMT on December 8. Over the coming two weeks, the Inmarsat controllers will command the satellite to perform seven chemical burns to raise it to its geo-synchronous elliptical orbit. By the end of December, the satellite will have completed deployment of its solar arrays and reflectors. This will be followed by the electrical orbit-raising phase, taking the spacecraft to its final geostationary orbit. This is scheduled to be completed by the end of January, ready for the start of payload testing at the beginning of February.
The satellite weighed over six metric tons at lift-off and has 89 Ka-band beams. It is designed to generate approximately 15 kilowatts of power at the start of service and, to generate such high power, the spacecraft's two solar wings – with a similar span to a Boeing 737 – each employ five panels of ultra-triple-junction solar cells.
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Inmarsat plc is the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services. Since 1979, Inmarsat has been providing reliable voice and high-speed data communications to governments, enterprises and other organizations, with a range of services that can be used on land, at sea or in the air. Inmarsat employs around 1,600 staff in more than 60 locations around the world, with a presence in the major ports and centres of commerce on every continent. Inmarsat is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE:ISAT.L). For more information, please visit http://www.inmarsat.com.
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