Thaicom 6

Image: Orbital Sciences
Image: Orbital Sciences

Thaicom 6 is a commercial communications satellite built by Orbital Sciences & launched by SpaceX for operation by Thaicom PLC to provide television and other communication services. The satellite is based on Orbital Sciences’ GEO STAR-2.3 satellite platform that has extensive flight heritage in Geostationary Satellites. Thaicom 6 has a launch mass of 3,016 Kilograms carrying a hybrid C- and Ku-Band communications payload.

The satellite is equipped with two power-generating solar arrays featuring Ultra-Triple Junction Gallium Arsenide solar cells installed on three panels per array. Two Li-Ion batteries are used for power storage in order to supply about 3.7 Kilowatts of power to the satellite payload. The satellite is three-axis stabilized using a zero momentum system and stationkeeping in Geostationary Orbit is accomplished using a Hydrzaine monopropellant system. Orbit-raising is completed using a bipropellant system featuring a single 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 using Monomethylhydrazine fuel and Nitrogen Tetroxide Oxidizer. The propellants are stored in spherical tanks that are pressurized with Helium.

Thaicom 6 carries a total of 18 C-Band transponders (6×36 & 12x72MHz) and 8 active Ku-Band transponders (6x36MHz & 2x54MHz). The C-Band system is comprised of two antennas – one 2.3-meter dual grid deployable reflector with 12 transponders and a 1.4-meter Earth deck-mounted dual grid reflector. The Ku-Band payload features a 2.5 by 2.7-meter single shell super elliptical deployable reflector.

The satellite will be stationed at 78.5-degrees East in Geostationary Orbit for a mission of at least 15 years to provide communication services to Asia, Europe, Australia and Africa. Its primary role is providing Direct-to-Home TV services for Thailand.