Hylas-2 launch: UK provides communication capability to Africa.
3 Aug 2012
On 2 August, British company, Avanti communications launched Hylas-2 from the European spaceport in French Guiana. The satellite will expand the company’s digital communications coverage across the remote areas of the Middle East and Africa.
(JPG, 116 Kb) Hylas-2 is equipped with 24 Ka-band transponders, and will provide high-speed, low-cost, two-way data communications to Europe as well as the fast-growing regions of Africa and the Middle East. Improved Ka-band technologies in the Hylas series make it possible to provide low-cost broadband from space to remote areas beyond the reach of fibre-optic cables.
Hylas-2 has 40 separate beams, each covering a different fixed area, plus one steerable beam which can be directed anywhere. This number of beams gives some flexibility in the areas that Avanti can serve as it can target the regions where there is highest demand. Avanti will provide communications capacity to individuals, businesses and governments.
(JPG, 34 Kb) Avanti Communications represents the UK model for a commercial space sector. Although initial support came from the UK Space Agency through the European Space Agency Advanced Research in TRelecommunications Systems (ESA ARTES) programme, Avanti’s satellites are owned and run privately, driving competition.
The satellite was produced for Avanti by Orbital Science Corporation in Dulles, Virginia. The Hylas-2 launch was the fourth successful launch by the Ariane-5 launcher this year.
Hylas-2 follows on the heels of Avanti’s first satellite and the first Ka-band satellite launched in Europe, Hylas-1, which was launched in November 2010 and is providing coverage for the established market in Europe. Hylas-3 is being built in association with ESA and is scheduled for launch in 2015.