Azerspace/Africasat-1a is a Communications satellite for the Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies of the Republic of Azerbaijan built by Orbital Science Corporation. The spacecraft is based on Orbital’s Star-2 satellite bus that has extensive flight heritage. The vehicle has a launch mass of 3,250 Kilograms featuring two deployable solar arrays for power generation and two Li-Ion on-board batteries to provide power during night passes. Each solar array has four panels of UTJ Gallium Arsenide cells.
The vehicle is three-axis stabilized and has a main propulsion system centered around the IHI BT-4 engine. BT-4 was developed by IHI Aerospace, Japan and has a dry mass of 4 kilograms and a length of 0.65 meters. The engine provides 450 Newtons of Thrust and uses Hydrazine and Mixed Oxides of Nitrogen as propellants. BT-4 will be used to perform Apogee Maneuvers to reach Geostationary Orbit. A Hydrazine Monopropellant thruster system will be used for stationkeeping maneuvers.
The communication platform of the satellite is a hybrid Ku- and C-Band payload. It consists of 24 active C-Band transponders. The C-Band payload features a 2.5 by 2.7-meter single shell super-elliptical deployable reflector and a 1.4 by 1.4-meter deck-mounted single shell reflector. The satellite has a Ku-Payload of 12 transponders and a 2.5 by 2.7-meter single shell super-elliptical deployable reflector. The spacecraft will provide coverage to Azerbaijan, Central Asia, Europe and Africa from its orbital position at 46 degrees East. The vehicle has an expected life of 15 years.