Türkiye’s new communications satellite to expand country's coverage to over 5B people

Photo credit: Xinhua

Turkish satellite operator Turksat finalized the country’s first indigenous communications satellite, and having passed its endurance tests, it will expand Türkiye’s satellite coverage to over 5 billion people after its launch at the end of June, officials at the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Türkiye (TUBITAK) said Tuesday, Anadolu reports. 

Turksat 6A is the name of the indigenous satellite that was created as a result of a project contract signed between the Transport and Infrastructure Ministry under the auspices of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turksat and TUBITAK.

The satellite, Türkiye’s largest research and development project, reached the final stage upon assembly, integration and testing phases at the Space Systems Assembly, Integration and Test (AIT) Center, built in collaboration with Turksat and the country’s drone-maker Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI).

Production, integration and testing of the engineering model of the satellite was completed in August 2022.

As for the operating model to be launched into orbit, it also completed its integration and system level tests as well as final alignment measurements.

The satellite's launch process and endurance to the space environment were tested, while functional, thermal vacuum, sine and acoustic tests were successfully completed at the system level.

By the end of March, the Compact Antenna Test Range (CATR), mass properties measurements and final checks will be completed, and transportation preparations for the launch will begin, after which the satellite will be sent to US-based spacecraft manufacturer SpaceX’s facilities, where it will be launched into space with the company's Falcon 9 rocket at the end of June, according to the project schedule.

Turksat 6A, with a power of 7.5 kilowatts, is planned to be positioned at 35,786 kilometers (22,236 miles) in a geocentric orbit, from where it will reach Southeast Asia, where existing satellites do not provide service.

Turksat currently operates a total of five communication satellites, namely Turksat 3A, 4A, 4B, 5A and 5B, at 31 degrees, 42 degrees and 50 degrees in east orbits, reaching a population of 3.5 billion people around the world.

With the launch of Turksat 6A, countries such as India, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia will be within Türkiye’s coverage area, thus increasing the population reached by the country’s satellites from 3.5 billion to over 5 billion, which corresponds to 65% of the world’s population.

With the commissioning of Turksat 6A, the firm’s satellite service exports to the region are planned to increase significantly.

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