Bethesda, MD, and Toulouse, France
Intelsat General Corp., an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of Intelsat Ltd., has been awarded a multi-million dollar contract to provide bandwidth to The London Satellite Exchange Ltd., a subsidiary of Astrium Services, itself a unit of European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), to support unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) surveillance operations in Afghanistan. London Satellite Exchange is Astrium Services engineering, satellite bandwidth procurement and operations partner for the ASTEL-S contract with the French Ministry of Defense.
As part of the contract, Intelsat repositioned the steerable Ku-band spot beams on its satellite IS-601 to provide both a low-data-rate link to control the UAV in flight and a high-data-rate link to collect real-time video and photos from the aircraft for use by troops deployed in the field.
“Many of Intelsat’s satellites include steerable beams, providing flexibility to re-point capacity as applications change or new requirements arise,” said Kay Sears, President of Intelsat General. “We were extremely pleased to be able to provide this bandwidth on such short notice, particularly given the tight supply of satellite capacity in the region.”
The satellite will support operations of the French Air Force’s SIDM (the French acronym for medium-altitude long-endurance drone), operating out of Bagram Airfield north of Kabul. The teams of French mechanics, pilots and analysts began making preparations to fly the UAV in early February and had the first flight only 15 days later, an extremely rapid operation. SIDM is manufactured by EADS’ Defence & Security Division(DS) which has played a decisive role in its operation with inclined orbit satellites and its subsequent deployment to Afghanistan. “The solution which was found by Intelsat General and London Satellite Exchange teams is smart in both engineering and contractual terms”, said Jean-François Gambart, CEO of London Satellite Exchange. “It allowed a fast provisioning of satellite capacity to a critical and demanding application. Flexibility and reactivity were key.” IS-601 was launched in 1991 and operates at an inclined orbit at 47.5 degrees East.
Communications satellites are placed in inclined orbit (by ceasing North / South station-keeping) in order to extend their useful life. Inclined orbit capacity is suitable for several applications, including trunking and mobility, providing customers with a communications solution that is also cost-efficient. The IS-601 satellite has 64 C-band and 24 Ku-band transponders.
About The London Satellite Exchange Ltd.
London Satellite Exchange is a provider of fixed satellite services (FSS) bandwidth and Inmarsat BGAN and Iridium mobile services, serving Media, Enterprise and Government clients across Europe and North America. London Satellite Exchange is headquartered in London, and operates out of its branch office in Toulouse, France, including 24/7 Network Operation Centre and Customer Helpdesk. London Satellite Exchange was acquired in 2008 by Astrium Services, a unit of European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS).
About Intelsat General Corp.
Headquartered in Bethesda, MD., Intelsat General Corporation provides leading-edge communications solutions to commercial, government, and military customers through fixed and mobile satellite systems and associated terrestrial communications services. Intelsat General incorporates flexible and robust ground and space infrastructure and technical expertise to deliver reliable, quickly deployable and secure network solutions anywhere around the globe. Intelsat General is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of Intelsat, Ltd.
Intelsat is the leading provider of fixed satellite services worldwide. For more than 40 years, Intelsat has been delivering information and entertainment for many of the world’s leading media and network companies, multinational corporations, Internet service providers and governmental agencies. Intelsat’s satellite, teleport and fiber infrastructure is unmatched in the industry, setting the standard for transmissions of video, data and voice services. From the globalization of content and the proliferation of HD, to the expansion of cellular networks and broadband access, with Intelsat, advanced communications anywhere in the world is closer, by far.
Intelsat Safe Harbor Statement
Some of the statements in this news release constitute “forward-looking statements” that do not directly or exclusively relate to historical facts. The forward-looking statements made in this release reflect Intelsat’s intentions, plans, expectations, assumptions and beliefs about future events and are subject to risks, including known and unknown risks. Detailed information about some of the known risks is included in Intelsat’s annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended 31 December 2007 and Intelsat’s other periodic reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Because actual results could differ materially from Intelsat’s intentions, plans, expectations, assumptions and beliefs about the future, you are urged to view all forward-looking statements contained in this news release with caution. Intelsat does
not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Intelsat General Corp.
London Satellite Exchange
+33 5 6221 4098