Skynet 5. Best in class commercial X-band Satcom
A unique feature of the Skynet 5 series satellites is the control they offer to the operator and the power available to the end-user, thanks to the combination of the multi-beam switching capabilities and the anti jamming phased array antenna which delivers shaped, high gain, footprints.
Each Skynet satellite has global, zone and spot (theatre) downlink beams which can be cross connected to meet dynamic operational needs, optimising the link budgets for the different terminal sizes under a given beam. Coverage beams and satellites can be fully overlapped to produce highly concentrated EIRP over targeted zones and the high power TWTAs on Skynet 5 are specifically designed for small disadvantaged military terminals.
The On Board Active Receive Antenna (OBARA) enables multiple uplink beams to be formed across the global coverage region of each satellite. This enables bespoke tailoring of the uplink beam pattern to optimise link budgets, and critically Skynet can shape beams around sources of interference, providing a unique anti-jamming capability.
This combination of uplink shaping and high power downlink steering enables Skynet to meet military command and control requirements in a way no other satellite constellation can match.
The world-leading anti-jamming antenna is extremely effective against hostile or non-hostile interference. All transmit beams are steerable and the active antenna forms multiple complex receive beam patterns to maximise terminal performance.
Solar Array Span:
4.5 m x 2.9m x 3.7m
Skynet 4C – 1 degree W
Skynet 4E – 35 degrees East
Skynet 4F – 34 degrees West
Skynet 5A – 6 degrees East
Skynet 5B – 53 degrees East (25 degrees East end of 2012)
Skynet 5C – 17.8 degrees West
Skynet 5D – 53 degrees East (end of 2012)
Payload Active Transponders:
X-band 8 x 20 MHz
3 x 22 MHz
4 x 40 MHz
Power (per transponder) 160W
Spot Beam (peak) 50.5 dBW
BFN G/T (peak) 6 dB/K
Global Beam (peak) -7.2 dB/K
Global G/T (peak) 40 dBW
UHF Up to 9
5 or 25 kHz channels
Uplink frequencies 7.90 to 8.40GHz
Uplink polarisation RHCP
Downlink frequencies 7.25 to 7.75GHz
Downlink polarisation LHCP
Uplink frequencies 294.8 to 318.3MHz
Uplink polarisation RHCP
Downlink frequencies 245.15 to 262.65 MHz (1MHz guardband – bands 1 to 5, 2.7MHz each)
Downlink polarisation RHCP
Skynet 5 fascinating facts:
- For two periods of 70 days each year, the Skynet 5 spacecraft goes into eclipses lasting up to 72 minutes and has to rely on its batteries instead of its solar arrays for power.
- Skynet 5’s ‘wingspan’ is about the same as an Airbus A319 and it flies at over mach 10.
- Skynet 5 is the first military spacecraft that isn’t owned by a government or international organisation (like NATO).
- Skynet 5 is the fourth series of spacecraft procured for UK MOD communications. The earlier series were SKYNET 1 (1969), SKYNET 2(1974), and SKYNET 4 (1990-1999). There was no SKYNET 3 series