Payload integration underway for Arianespace’s Ariane 5 mission with the SGDC and KOREASAT-7 satellites
Maintaining Arianespace’s sustained launch pace in 2017, activity is continuing for the company’s next flight – an Ariane 5 dual-payload mission on March 21 with the SGDC and KOREASAT-7 telecommunications satellites, to be performed from the Spaceport in French Guiana.
The heavy-lift vehicle was delivered to Arianespace earlier this month by production prime contractor Airbus Safran Launchers, with the Ariane 5’s transfer from the Spaceport’s Launcher Integration Building – where it underwent the basic buildup – to the Final Assembly Building for integration of its two payloads.
In parallel, the two satellites have been progressing through their own pre-flight preparations, with both now in the Final Assembly Building. As the mission’s upper payload, SGDC was installed on Ariane 5’s SYLDA dispenser system, and then encapsulated in a long version of the launcher’s ogive-shaped payload fairing. Separately, KOREASAT-7 was integrated atop Ariane 5, to be followed by positioning of the SGDC/SYLDA/payload fairing combination atop it.
Flight VA236: Arianespace’s fourth mission in 2017
The Ariane 5 mission with SGDC and KOREASAT-7 will be Arianespace’s second flight during the month of March, and its fourth so far in 2017. Designated Flight VA236, it follows the year-opening launches of a lightweight Vega on March 6 with the Sentinel-2B Earth observation spacecraft, the February 14 mission using an Ariane 5 to orbit the SKY Brasil-1 and Telkom 3S relay satellites, and January 27’s launch of a medium-lift Soyuz to orbit the Hispasat 36W-1 telecommunications platform.
During integration activity in the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building, Ariane 5’s payload fairing is lowered into position over the SGDC satellite, which is installed on the SYLDA dispenser (photo at left). In the photo at right, KOREASAT-7 is secured atop Ariane 5’s core section.
Both satellites for Flight VA236 were built by Thales Alenia Space, with the mission’s total payload lift performance set at 10,289 kg. to geostationary transfer orbit.
SGDC is the first Brazilian government satellite, as well as the initial spacecraft to be launched by Arianespace for Visiona Tecnologia Espacial S.A. – the SGDC prime contractor, responsible for the program management, overall system integration and end-to-end communication. This dual-use (civil and military) relay platform will enable the implementation of a secure satellite communications system for the Brazilian government and armed forces, while also reducing the digital divide in Brazil.
The SGDC spacecraft will be operated and controlled by Telebras, a Brazilian telecommunication company managed by the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communication.
Spacebus platforms for Flight VA236’s two satellite payloads
Based on the Spacebus 4000C4 platform, the SGDC platform carries 57 transponders in Ka- and X-band. It will have a liftoff mass estimated at 5,735 kg., and is to be positioned at an orbital slot of 75 deg. West.
The KOREASAT-7 passenger on Flight VA236 is designed to provide improved throughput and wider coverage over Korea, Philippines, Indochina, India, and Indonesia. Equipped with Ku-band and Ka-band transponders, it will have a liftoff mass of approximately 3,680 kg. and is built on an upgraded Spacebus 4000B2 platform. The satellite’s added steerable Ka-band capacity is designed to support further demand in relay services.
Once in its orbital slot of 116 deg. East, KOREASAT-7 will be operated by KT SAT – a wholly-owned subsidiary of KT Corp., which is the largest telecom/media service provider in South Korea and the country’s sole satellite service provider.
Larger versions of the photos above are available for downloading in the Gallery.