Yahsat to launch its first satellite on 30 March
March 1st, 2011 - 12:03 UTC
by Andy Sennitt.

The launch of YIA, Yahsat’s first satellite, has been scheduled for launch on Wednesday 30 March 30, 2011 around 3am UAE time. This will be the first of two planned Yahsat satellite launches for this year, with Y1B due to launch in Q4 2011.

Yahsat is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mubadala Development Company, the Abu Dhabi Government’s strategic investment company. Yahsat has commissioned the launch of two satellites to create regionally focused capacity to manage the region’s expanding requirements for government, commercial and consumer satellite communication services.

Yahsat will support Abu Dhabi’s ambition to become a hub for media broadcasting and telecommunications services by allowing clients from Europe and South Asia to connect with customers across the entire coverage area. Y1A will have a coverage footprint spanning the Middle East, Africa, and Southwest Asia.

Y1A, which has a projected product lifespan of more than 15 years, will deliver a range of Yahsat’s commercial and government satellite service offerings. YahLive will provide Direct-to-Home (DTH) television capacity and services to more than two dozen countries across the coverage area. YahLink will support telecommunication services and communication links for applications such as corporate data networks, Internet trunking and GSM backhauling.

In addition to extending services to the civilian market, Abu Dhabi’s first satellite will also provide the first secure Ka band communications capacity (YahSecure) within the coverage area, enabling state-of-the-art infrastructure for military communications. Beyond the UAE, YahSecure will enable Yahsat’s service division, YahService, to provide support for governments in the areas of administration, defence and emergency management.

Yahsat has partnered with a consortium composed of EADS Astrium and Thales Alenia Space to manufacture the Y1A multi-purpose satellite; and with Arianespace, the experienced international launch services provider, to project Y1A into orbit from its station in Kourou, French Guiana. Control of the satellite will be managed by a team of trained UAE-national satellite controllers based out of the Yahsat control station in Al Falah, Abu Dhabi.