Recently, I spoke about Intelsat Epic satellites, Intelsat’s next-generation of satellite designs, at Newtec’s Government and Defense Seminar held in the Washington, D.C. area. Intelsat Epic incorporates multiple smaller spot-beams with high frequency re-use. This design delivers performance, coverages, and connectivities previously not possible. Performance on an Intelsat Epic satellite is improved not only in bits per second per Hertz, but also in the aggregate MHz available, and the geographic area covered.
Compared to current Intelsat IX series Ku-band spot beams, the Initial Intelsat Epic satellites provide Ku-band EIRP and G/T values that are 4 to 7 dB better and nearly 6 to 9 times the aggregate MHz per satellite. These satellites deliver this improved performance over coverage areas that are 10 to 15 times larger than that possible with two Intelsat IX series Ku-band spot beams.
Intelsat Epic satellites enable new flexible beam connectivities. Cross-connections can be made between individual user spot beams, between user and gateway spots, and loopback within a spot. This flexibility will enable Intelsat customers to tailor the space segment to their specific needs.
One request from the presentation was to provide examples of possible applications and throughputs. The satellites’ increase in G/T performance is particularly helpful in improving the data rates from smaller, so-called disadvantaged, terminals. Preliminary link analyses show that Intelsat Epic‘s Ku-band spot beams will support transmission rates of:
- Up to 3 Mbps direct mesh links between two 30 inch terminals
- Up to 225Mbps+ from 1.2m Global Hawk terminals
These transmission rates truly are epic and not possible on traditional, wide beam, satellites. With Intelsat Epic they are not only possible but possible utilizing existing, deployed terminals. Such capabilities have all of us at Intelsat General excited about the opportunities we can bring to our customers via our high performance Intelsat Epic satellites.