Image: Orbital Sciences
Image: Orbital Sciences

SES-8 is a commercial communications satellite built by Orbital Sciences Corporation and operated by SES World Skies. The spacecraft is based on Orbital’s GEO STAR-2.4 satellite platform that has extensive flight heritage in Geostationary Satellites. SES-8 has a launch mass of 3,200 Kilograms carrying a hybrid Ku- and Ka-Band payload.

The satellite is equipped with two power-generating solar arrays featuring Ultra-Triple Junction Gallium Arsenide solar cells, and two 4,850-watt-hour Li-Ion batteries for power storage in order to supply about 5 Kilowatts of power to the satellite payload. SES-8 is equipped with 24 active Ku-band transponders of 36 or 54 Mhz capacity switchable among 33 channels and two beams.

A number of channels provide cross-strapping capability to multiple frequency bands to increase flexibility. The satellite also carries a Ka-Band communications payload.

The spacecraft features two 2.5 by 2.7-meter single shell super elliptical deployable reflectors and a 1.45-meter fixed antenna pointing nadir. The 24 transponders are divided into two groups, one group of 18-for-15 and one group of 12-for-9 traveling-wave tube amplifiers. SES-8 is three-axis stabilized with excellent pointing capability. A Monopropellant propulsion system is used for insertion in to Geostationary Orbit and stationkeeping in GEO.

SES-8 has a planned service life of 15 years, but carries fuel for at least 16 years of operation in Geostationary Orbit at 95 degrees East to provide communication services to South Asia and Indo-China (Thailand, Vietnam, Laos), primarily direct-to-home services. The satellite will also support VSAT services and industry and government applications.