The 6th generation TURKSAT 5B Communications Satellite, which will be the most powerful Communications Satellite of TURKSAT in terms of both useful load capacity and electrical power, was launched on December 19, 2021, at 06:58 Turkey time from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, USA, with SpaceX's Falcon 9 Rocket.
With this successful launch, the TURKSAT 5B Communications Satellite began its 164-day travel towards its orbit. TURKSAT 5B Communications Satellite will settle into orbit in June 2022 and start its activities in August 2022 after a 45-days testing. Accordingly, having started its first communications satellite adventure with TÜRKSAT 1B, launched on August 10, 1994 and served for 12 years, Turkey today becomes one of the 30 countries that own satellites and has increased the number of active communications satellites in space to 5 (TURKSAT 3A, 4A, 4B, 5A and 5B), and the total number of satellites will increase to 8 (GOKTURK I/II and RASAT Earth Observation Satellites). TURKSAT 3A and TURKSAT 4A continue to serve in 42° East orbit, TURKSAT 4B in 50° East orbit and TURKSAT 5A in 31° East orbit. TURKSAT 5B will serve in the 42° East orbit as of June 2022.
Deputy Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Ömer Fatih SAYAN, Turksat Company Chairman of the Board Prof. Kemal YÜKSEK, Turksat Company CEO Hasan Hüseyin ERTOK, Turksat Board Member İbrahim KOLCU and accompanying delegation watched the launch of the satellite at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Adil KARAİSMAİLOĞLU and Vice President Fuat OKTAY watched live the launch of the TURKSAT 5B at the ceremony held at Turksat Company’s Gölbaşı Campus.
Speaking at the ceremony, Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Adil KARAİSMAİLOĞLU pointed out that Turkey has the satellite capacity that addresses more than one third of the world in terms of coverage area and said, “TURKSAT 5B set off its 164-day journey. With TURKSAT 5B, we will reach all regions that we cannot reach by sea, air and land.” Reminding that TURKSAT 5A serves more than thirty percent of the world in television broadcasting, KARAİSMAİLOĞLU said that the TURKSAT 5B Satellite, from which data communication is mainly provided, will serve in regions such as the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, North and South Africa and Nigeria, and that its coverage area will continue to increase with TURKSAT 6A. Emphasizing that with the launch of TURKSAT 6A, the production and test processes of which are in progress, Turkey will be among the top 10 countries to exist in space by producing its own satellite in the world, KARAİSMAİLOĞLU said, “As in all sectors, we started to make our presence felt in space, our power, the great and powerful Turkey, to the whole world.” Emphasizing that there are two domestic and indigenous components in TURKSAT 5B, KARAİSMAİLOĞLU said, “For the first time, the satellite with domestic and indigenous components will operate in space, but the most important thing for us is the completely domestic and indigenous satellite TURKSAT 6A. Our domestic and national contribution in technology will continue to increase. We particularly want to use 5G with completely domestic and national infrastructure. Our next goal is the 6G. The interest of young people is very precious for us, especially to become a country that produces, develops and exports technology.” Pointing out that they work with ASELSAN, TUSAŞ, TUBITAK Space and CTech in the development of TURKSAT 6A, KARAİSMAİLOĞLU emphasized the importance of workforce and said, “With our domestic and indigenous satellites, we will be among the top 10 countries in the world that has the capacity to produce satellites. The assembly, integration and tests of TURKSAT 6A are carried out at Ankara Space Systems Integration and Test Center. We plan to launch our indigenous TURKSAT 6A satellite in 2023. With TURKSAT 6A, our country's satellite coverage area will also expand thanks to the eastern coverage area including India.”
TURKSAT 5A and 5B Communications Satellites
The 6th generation TURKSAT 5B Communications Satellite is the second of two new generation communications satellites ordered to Airbus Defence and Space (Airbus D&S) under the contract signed on November 9, 2017. To produce such satellites, three leading companies in the world submitted proposals, the French-British partnership Airbus Defense and Space (Airbus D&S), Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (MELCO) from Japan, the Canadian-US partnership MDA/Space System Loral (MDA/SSL). Airbus D&S was selected as the successful bidder in terms of financial and domestic contribution. Immediately after the contract award, the production of the new generation TURKSAT 5A and TURKSAT 5B Communications Satellites was initiated.
The 5th generation communication satellite TURKSAT 5A, whose design, production and testing phases were successfully completed at Airbus D&S facilities in France and the UK, was received from Airbus D&S on October 2, 2020, and delivered to Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, USA on January 8, 2021. It was launched with SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. The orbital tests of TURKSAT 5A, which completed its journey in space after reaching 31° East geosynchronous (Geostationary/GEO) orbit on May 4, 2021, started on May 5 and it started to serve in June 2021 after approximately 1.5 months of testing and commissioning. TURKSAT 5A Commissioning Ceremony was held on June 28, 2021, at Türksat Gölbaşı campus with the participation of President Recep Tayyip ERDĞAN and Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Adil KARAİSMAİLOĞLU. With its 1728-megahertz capacity, the TURKSAT 5A Communications Satellite, which has thirty percent more capacity compared to the previous communications satellites and is the highest capacity satellite of the Türksat Satellite Fleet in Ku-Band, still provides television broadcasting and data communication services in a wide geography spanning 3 continents, covering Turkey, Europe, Middle East, North Africa, Midwest Africa, South Africa, Mediterranean, Aegean Sea and the Black Sea. TURKSAT 5A Communications Satellite will serve for at least 35 years (projected to be 37 years) and secure orbital and frequency rights of Turkey.
The TURKSAT 5B Satellite, whose design, production and testing phases were completed successfully, was delivered to Turkey with the participation of Deputy Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Ömer Fatih SAYAN and Turksat CEO Hasan Hüseyin ERTOK and the satellite was shipped to the U.S. from France on November 29th.
TURKSAT 5A broadcast satellite which operates in Ku-band at the 31⁰ East longitude slot in geostationary orbit. It has a launch mass of 3,500 kg and electrical power of 12 kW. TURKSAT 5B is a broadband satellite which operates in Ku- and Ka-bands at the 42⁰ East longitude slot in geostationary orbit. Its HTS (High Throughput Satellite) payload will provide more than 50 Gbps of capacity via 73 beams over a wide coverage including Turkey, the Middle East and large regions of Africa. It has a launch mass of 4,500 kg and electrical power of 15 kW.
TURKSAT 5A and TURKSAT 5B Communications Satellites have the latest version of the Electric Orbit Lifting (EOR) system of Airbus D&S' highly reliable Eurostar E3000 platform, which uses a new generation electric propulsion system for in-orbit raising and station-keeping. TURKSAT 5A and TURKSAT 5B are the 57th and 58th Eurostar E3000 satellites ordered, and the 7th and 8th in the Eurostar E3000e version, which recently completed the fastest electric orbit raising ever from transfer to geostationary orbit.
Capabilities to be acquired by TURKSAT 5B Communications Satellite
TURKSAT 5B, which has the highest payload capacity satellite in our country, is in the category of high-efficiency satellites with at least 20 times more capacity efficiency than Fixed Satellite Service (FSS) satellites. TURKSAT 5B, which will serve in a wide coverage area including the Middle East, the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, the Mediterranean, North and East Africa, Nigeria, South Africa and close neighbor countries, as well as Turkey, will increase Turkey's capacity from 1.8 GB to 12 GB with its Ka-Band payload, in which frequency reuse and multibeam coverage concepts are used, and will provide a data transmission capacity of more than 55 Gbps in total across the world. TURKSAT 5B, which will increase Turkey's Ka-Band capacity -the satellite data communication capacity- more than 15 times, will be effective in commercial sectors such as maritime and aviation where satellite communication is used. Within this framework, maritime services will be initiated at Ka-Band frequency in the Mediterranean and Arabian Peninsula, and in the aviation field, services will be started to be delivered with the TURKSAT 5B Satellite. 2 communication equipment produced by ASELSAN as part of the Domestic Industry Contribution Program was used in TURKSAT 5B, thus the equipment designed and produced domestically was sent to space for the first time on a commercial communication satellite. The Ku-Band Receiver and Ka-Band Low Noise Amplifier (LNA) developed by ASELSAN within the scope of the TURKSAT 5B Communication Satellite Project was sent to space with TURKSAT 5B and hence space experience was acquired. The integration of the flight models of both equipment to the TURKSAT 5B Satellite was carried out at Airbus D&S facilities. With the high data capacity provided by the TURKSAT 5B Satellite, it will be possible to reach places in Turkey that cannot be accessed by terrestrial infrastructure, and an internet infrastructure will be established.
With the use of the satellite, having the new generation electric propulsion system, in its 42° East orbit, the Ka-Band data service as well as the Ku-Band capacity will be increased, and redundancy will be achieved for the TURKSAT 3A and TURKSAT 4A satellites serving in the same orbit. It will also serve in 42° East orbit with a maneuver and service life of over 35 years.
With TURKSAT 5B taking its place in space, the coverage and speed of Turksat Company's domestic and national satellite antenna family PeycON services will also be improved. With the enhancement of the satellite coverage area, it will be possible to use the MicrON, AerON, HidrON and TerrON antenna family together with services such as internet, corporate network and IP backhauling in many countries around the world