Abu Dhabi-based Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (Yahsat), and Airbus reached a key milestone in the construction of the Thuraya 4-NGS next generation mobile telecommunications system, the successful completion of its Preliminary Design Review (PDR).
Thuraya 4-NGS is part of a transformational program delivering a comprehensive, new L-band ecosystem with the upgrade of Thuraya’s space and ground, and user (products and solutions) segments. Complemented by a 5G-ready core network, Yahsat’s newest satellite system will ensure increased coverage and capacity, while delivering next generation mobility solutions for all customer segments, including defence, government, enterprise and consumers.
The PDR provided a comprehensive review, validating Airbus’ design approach for both the physical and functional requirements of the satellite system. It also marked an important step towards the on-schedule completion of the Thuraya 4-NGS satellite and confirms its effectiveness for in-orbit operation. This achievement also demonstrates Yahsat’s commitment towards transforming Thuraya and building its next-generation system.
François Gaullier, Head of Telecommunications Systems at Airbus said: “This important milestone confirms the soundness of the technical design and capabilities of the Thuraya 4-NGS satellite and the huge commitment and professionalism of the Yahsat and Airbus teams. It paves the way to achieve the next milestones of this innovative program, which benefits from Airbus’ extensive know how in mobile communications, as well as our latest digital processed payload technology giving increased flexibility and adaptability over the course of its life in orbit.”
The new system will spur the company’s growth across many strategic product lines, existing and new. These include maritime, IoT and data solutions, offering a wide spectrum of unique features and the highest speeds available in the market.
The satellite will use a large 12-metre L-band antenna and a payload with sophisticated on-board processing, facilitating flexible routing of up to 3,200 channels, along with dynamic power allocation across a large number of spot beams. Thuraya 4-NGS will provide a world of opportunities to customers, service partners, equipment vendors, and system integrators, enhancing user experience across land, sea and air.
Adnan Al Muhairi (photo), Yahsat’s Chief Technical Officer Designate, said: “The Preliminary Design Review is an important step in confirming that the highest industry standards have been applied and met through extensive review and scrutiny of the overall design by our team of engineers. We are delighted to have completed the PDR on schedule and to continue the momentum towards the completion of this highly advanced MSS system, supported by a 5G-ready ground network.”
Rashed Al Hammadi, Program Manager, Yahsat said: “The Thuraya 4-NGS PDR outcome is testament to the joint dedication and talent at Yahsat and Airbus. The development of this transformational satellite system includes work on the platform, payload and ground elements, all exceptional in their design and performance.”
“In terms of what the PDR covers, we have also evaluated the satellite’s subsystems, launcher compatibility, and other key elements. It is good to see that this technical milestone completed on schedule, provides us with a high level of confidence as we transition into the next phase,” Al Hammadi concluded.
Wholly owned by the one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds, Mubadala Investment Company, Yahsat is a leading fixed and mobile satellite services operator offering integrated satellite communications solutions to over 150 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South America, Asia and Australasia.
Yahsat’s fleet of 5 satellites reaches more than 80% of the world’s population, enabling critical communications including broadband, broadcasting, backhauling and mobility solutions. Yahsat provides a wide range of C, Ku, Ka, and L-band solutions for land, maritime and aero platforms to consumers, governments and enterprises. Its businesses consist of Yahsat Government Solutions, Thuraya, YahClick (Powered by Hughes) and YahLink. Yahsat also participates in Hughes do Brasil, a joint venture with Hughes, and Yahlive, a joint venture with SES.
In 2020, Yahsat commenced construction of Thuraya 4-NGS, the next generation telecommunications system for Thuraya, which is due to be in service by 2024.