Systems/Loral to build Thor 7 satellite


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Published: 09.25 Europe/London, June 20, 2011

Telenor Satellite Broadcasting has announced that it has signed a contract with Space Systems/ Loral for the construction and delivery of its new geosynchronous communications satellite to be called Thor 7 and positioned at 1 degree West. The new satellite will provide necessary satellite capacity for broadcasting services in Central and Eastern Europe and additional capacity for communication services for maritime use.

Thor 7 will be based on SS/L’s 1300 series platform and fitted with two payloads. The first payload includes 11 active Ku band transponders, all of which will be used to serve growing broadcasting requirements within Central and Eastern Europe. It will also include further Ku band capability that will be utilised to provide restoration capacity for TSBc’s Thor fleet located at 1 degree West. The second is a Ka band payload, fitted with spot beams covering in areas including the North Sea, Norwegian Sea, the Red Sea, the Baltic Sea, the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean. The Ka band payload will address the surge in demand for high bandwidth requirements from the maritime industry and will deliver a bandwidth efficient service with high bit rates to meet customers’ expectations.

“Telenor Satellite Broadcasting selected Space Systems/Loral based predominantly upon their most favourable all round design which will deliver optimised European coverage and high powered capacity,” said Cato Halsaa, VP and CEO of Telenor Satellite Broadcasting, in a statement. “With the launch of Thor 7, I am confident that our prime European satellite fleet positioned at the hotspot orbital location, 1 degree West, will receive the necessary boost required to support future growth”.

The spacecraft has a 28 month production schedule and will be built at Space Systems/Loral’s manufacturing facilities based in Palo Alto, California. Space Systems/Loral is responsible for the design, construction and test activities for Thor 7, which is expected to commence commercial service in Q1 2014.

Commenting on the contract Mr John Celli, president, Space Systems Loral said: “We are very pleased to have the opportunity to apply our extensive experience with multi-mission satellites and Ka-band communications to this new satellite for Telenor Satellite Broadcasting. Our companies share a similar vision of the benefits of satellite communications for entertainment, economic improvement, and other vital services. We appreciate Telenor’s confidence in our company to deliver this important satellite.”

Telenor Satellite Broadcasting is currently concluding negotiations with its preferred satellite launch provider and will announce its decision at the end of June 2011.