On January 31, 2018, an exciting new satellite – GovSat-1 – is scheduled for launch on board SpaceX’s flight-proven Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. GovSat-1 is exciting because it represents a new concept in secure communications for governments and institutions.
Designed exclusively for the government and defense community, GovSat-1 is the first satellite of GovSat, which is a joint venture between the Government of Luxembourg and the world-leading satellite operator SES.
Positioned at 21.5 degrees East, this satellite will be ideally located to support communications within Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and to provide highly reliable and flexible interconnectivity for defense and institutional applications within its coverage area. GovSat-1 will also enable operations over the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.
GovSat-1 was designed for dual use to support both defense and civil security applications, including mobile and fixed communications. It is a multi-mission satellite that offers X-band and Military Ka-band capacity. The spacecraft will provide up to six high-powered and fully steerable spot beams, as well as an advanced Global X-band beam.
The X-band frequency is reserved for governments and institutions, and is an ideal mean to establish secure and robust satellite communication links, for example between theaters of tactical operations, maritime missions or over areas affected by a humanitarian crisis.
The Military Ka-band will be used predominantly for mobility applications in support of Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions. The secure communication links it enables are characterized by smaller high-throughput VSAT terminals.
The Mediterranean Sea is one particular area covered by a high-power beam in military Ka-band. It is therefore ideally suited to enable communications for European Border Surveillance applications.
Equipped with anti-jamming features, encrypted telemetry and control, and frequencies reserved for governmental use, GovSat-1 will also provide enhanced resilience capabilities for more reliable connectivity.
GovSat-1 was built by Orbital ATK, and designed to operate for 15 years in geostationary orbit. The spacecraft has a launch mass of 4,230 kg. GovSat-1 has a diverse mix of transponder sizes in terms of bandwidth per transponder, offering in total 68 transponder-equivalent units of 36 MHz.