Sky Muster satellite launch countdown: less than 100 days ‘til lift off

August 4, 2015 10:11 pm

The countdown to the launch of Sky Muster (NBN-1A), nbn®’s first specialist broadband satellite, has begun, with less than a hundred days to go until lift off from French Guiana. The anticipation is building not just for the entire nbn® Satellite team, but for those who will benefit from the service – rural Australians.
As of the 28th of July, the Sky Muster has passed testing procedures and is being prepped to come out of its storage from its California-based manufacturer, SS Loral. It will be shipped to French Guiana where the launch will take place.
The company behind the satellite, nbn, has also reported that they are making good progress on the NBN-1B, their second satellite which is being prepped at SS Loral to enter the antenna pattern measurement phase.
The nbn® Satellite platform is not just about the satellites. Despite being proud of its progress, nbn®’s engineering team has also been actively working with their partners at ViaSat to test out their ground-based technology, particularly their 10 ground stations, to ensure they can establish connectivity via their national transit network all the way back to nbn®’s central data processing centres.
Plans with partners at Ericsson have also been in the works for the migration of the existing Interim Satellite Service users onto to the new nbn® Satellite, as well as how the most remote premises of the country, such as Lord Howe and Christmas Island can be connected to the nbn® Satellite Service.
The nbn® team has been hard at work engaging their industry partners, especially their RSPs (Retail Service Providers) to ensure they are able to offer a wholesale product which will enable them to offer innovative and competitive retail plans to Australians because that’s what the nbn is all about.
Three RSPs have also been chosen to help in the testing out phase of Sky Muster once it has successfully lifted off and goes live and operational. This phase will involve testing and optimisation of every satellite beam on Sky Muster to ensure they are working properly. Tests will run from December to March.
According to nbn’s press release, they will likewise launch a customer field trial once the testing phase has begun to allow them to conduct “real world” testing prior to the commercial deployment of the service. The trials will enable nbn to get additional operating data which will help them improve the performance of the service.
Everyone working on the nbn® Satellite program has contributed a huge amount of work on the project and nbn is excited to give thousands of rural Australians access to world-class broadband.
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