Boeing satellite poised to expand Asia communications capabilities
Boeing has been tapped to construct a satellite – based on its Boeing 702 platform (BSS-702MP) – for Denver, Colorado-based New York Broadband (NYBB) to provide mobile service for its users in China, India, and other parts of Asia. NYBB will lease capacity on the satellite to CMBB Vision. Based in Hong Kong, CMBB stands for Converged Mobile Media Broadcasting and is the mobile handheld TV technology standard in China.
The satellite, called Silkwave-1, will eventually take the 105° E orbital slot currently occupied by NYBB’s AsiaStar spacecraft, along with its L-band spectrum rights. Silkwave-1 will offer 100 times greater transmission power than the AsiaStar spacecraft that it will replace.
“With this new Boeing satellite, Silkwave-1, we will realize a vision to deliver quality multimedia capabilities to the consumer on the move,” said Charles Wong, chairman and CEO of CMMB Vision. “Video, voice, data and other new digital media will become more readily available than ever before along the Silk Road of Asia, one of the most historically significant routes for commerce in the world.”
Silkwave-1, scheduled for a launch in 2018, will be a variant of the flight-proven Boeing 702 satellite family. It will be powered by two highly efficient solar wings, each with ultra triple-junction gallium arsenide solar cells, generating 14 kW of power.
A high-power L-band payload with steerable beams will provide broadcast and communication services to all of China, its surrounding oceans, and several other Asian markets. It will feature a 9-meter reflector, and the satellite’s beams and power can be reconfigured on-orbit.
“The new Silkwave-1 spacecraft is designed to support broadband multimedia broadcasting to mobile users,” said Mark Spiwak, president of Boeing Satellite Systems International. “It will have dedicated beams over China and India and a steerable beam over other Asian countries for independent services for different regions. This optimizes power based on regional needs and multiplies the overall bandwidth delivery capacity.”
The launch service provider for Silkwave-1’s 2018 launch is still to be determined by NYBB.
CMMB Vision is a next-generation mobile multimedia service provider and a principal developer of leading mobile technologies as well as broadcast-unicast convergence technology.
Michael Cole is a life-long space flight enthusiast and author of some 36 educational books on space flight and astronomy for Enslow Publishers. He lives in Findlay, Ohio, not far from Neil Armstrong’s birthplace of Wapakoneta. His interest in space, and his background in journalism and public relations suit him for his focus on research and development activities at NASA Glenn Research Center, and its Plum Brook Station testing facility, both in northeastern Ohio. Cole reached out to SpaceFlight Insider and asked to join SFI as the first member of the organization’s “Team Glenn.”