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O3b 13, ..., 20

improved O3b [Thales Alenia]

The O3b 13 - 20 satellites of Jersey, Channel Islands based O3b Networks Limited are improved satellites following the original twelve O3b satellites. They offer low latency Internet backhaul to emerging markets and developing countries worldwide at speeds up to 10 Gbps with a combined total capacity in excess of 160 Gbps.

O3b Networks recently announced the new satellite network with support and funding from Google, Inc, Liberty Global, Inc., and HSBC Principal Investments. Bridging the gap between current satellites and fiber optic cables, O3b Networks will provide fiber-like trunking capacity to telecom operators and backhaul directly to 3G Cellular and WiMAX towers.

The space vehicle is designed, integrated and tested, by Thales Alenia Space. Leveraging the heritage redundant service module design and manufactured utilizing an innovative island production approach. The unique payload system design enables flexibility of antenna usage and graceful degradation. The first eight space vehicles were planned be in orbit by 4th quarter, 2010, but were delayed to 2013.

The Ka-Band payload is designed to enable the high speed flow of data between locations on the ground. Twelve fully steerable antennas ensure an optimized connection to the area where data is needed. The payload portion uses existing Ka-Band repeater technology to allow for straightforward allocation of the bandwidth anywhere within the 500 km diameter area on the ground which is illuminated.

The flexible configuration of the satellite allows for inter-antenna data transfer in a variety of ways. Thus, trunking between two points is simple, or trunking between many points is also possible. The steerable antennas can be moved onto a location in minutes and each provide up to 1.25 Gbps of throughput.

The service module provides platform three axis pointing stabilization. The 3-axis control is provided by a combination reaction wheels, torque rods and reaction engine assemblies. Attitude determination is provided by earth and fine sun sensors in conjunction with an inertial measurement unit. A GPS Navigation Unit provides orbit position. Power is supplied by two gallium arsenide solar arrays and a Li-Ion battery.

O3b Neworks plans to order higher performance improved spacecrafts in early 2015. Eight of these were ordered in December 2015, which are about to be launched from 2018 onwards. A firm launch contract with Arianespace for four satellites in 2018 on a Soyuz-ST-B Fregat-MT booster was signed, along with an option for one more launch in 2018 or later.

Nation: UK (Channel Islands)
Type / Application: Communication
Operator: O3b Neworks Ltd.
Contractors: Thales Alenia Space
Equipment: 12 Ka-Band transponders
Configuration: ELiTeBus-1000
Propulsion: Hydrazine monopropellant, 8 × 1 N thrusters
Power: 2 deployable solar arrays, batteries
Lifetime: 10 years
Mass: 700 kg
Orbit: 7825 km, 0
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
O3b FM13 - 2018 Ko ELS Soyuz-ST-B Fregat-MT with O3b FM14, FM15, FM16
O3b FM14 - 2018 Ko ELS Soyuz-ST-B Fregat-MT with O3b FM13, FM15, FM16
O3b FM15 - 2018 Ko ELS Soyuz-ST-B Fregat-MT with O3b FM13, FM14, FM16
O3b FM16 - 2018 Ko ELS Soyuz-ST-B Fregat-MT with O3b FM13, FM14, FM15
O3b FM17 - 2019 Ko ELS Soyuz-ST-B Fregat-MT with O3b FM18, FM19, FM20
O3b FM18 - 2019 Ko ELS Soyuz-ST-B Fregat-MT with O3b FM17, FM19, FM20
O3b FM19 - 2019 Ko ELS Soyuz-ST-B Fregat-MT with O3b FM17, FM18, FM20
O3b FM20 - 2019 Ko ELS Soyuz-ST-B Fregat-MT with O3b FM17, FM18, FM19

Note: The assignment of individual satellites to the corresponding launches may change.

Further O3b missions: