The Nilesat-201 and RASCOM-QAF1R satellites, built by Thales Alenia Space as prime contractor for Nilesat and RascomStar-QAF, respectively, have arrived at the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, for final preparations leading up to an Ariane 5 launch this summer.
Nilesat-201 will enable the Egyptian satellite operator Nilesat to deliver digital Direct to Home (DTH) TV and radio broadcasting and high-speed data transmission services to North Africa and the Middle East starting in September 2010.
Built on a Spacebus 4000B2 platform, Nilesat-201 is fitted with 24 Ku-band and 4 Ka-band transponders. It will be positioned at 7 degrees West longitude and offers a design life of 15 years. Weight at launch will be about 3,200 kg, and it will generate 5.9 kW of power at end-of-life.
RASCOM-QAF1R will ensure service continuity for the operator RascomStar-QAF and its customers, by giving Africa access to advanced communications and information technologies, in particular rural telephony.
Based on the Spacebus 4000B3 platform, the RASCOM-QAF1R satellite Is equipped with 24 equivalent 36 MHz transponders in both Ku-band and C-band. It will weigh about 3,050 kg at launch, and provide 6.4 kW of power at end-of-life. Positioned at 2.9 degrees East longitude, RASCOM-QAF1R will cover the African continent, as well as parts of Europe and the Middle East.