Satellite operator Telesat has selected Cobham SATCOM to provide landing stations for its upcoming Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite broadband constellation.

The communication terminals company will provide Cobham SATCOM 3-axis TRACKER 4000 terminals for the Telesat Lightspeed Landing Station network; it will manufacture, integrate, and install Ka-band tracking antennas at Telesat’s sites globally.

According to SpaceNews, construction work on the landing stations will start in spring 2023; the companies plan to install the first of 30 global landing stations in Canada.

– Cobham SATCOM

“Cobham SATCOM’s innovative antenna technology delivers robust, resilient, and highly-efficient performance with compelling economics,” said Aneesh Dalvi, Telesat’s Director of LEO Landing Stations and User Terminals. “The low power consumption of the TRACKER antennas provides significant financial benefits, and is well-aligned with Telesat Lightspeed objectives to provide best-in-class enterprise-grade connectivity while reducing the carbon footprint of our system and maintaining a green and sustainable planet.”

Telesat’s Lightspeed constellation will comprise a fleet of 298 satellites for a combined capacity of 15 Tbps. Thales Alenia Space is contracted to build the satellites, but supply chain issues have pushed back the constellation’s planned roll-out date.

Dalvi told SN the company expects to get regulatory clearances in Canada this year to build its first landing station in the country. Discussions about setting up landing stations elsewhere are in the works and at “different stages for different countries,” he said, adding that there will be “some in Europe and in Australia” because Telesat needs sites in northerly and southerly latitudes to support initial launches. The agreement includes the option to deploy more than 30 landing stations if demand calls for it.

“I am extremely proud that we have been selected by Telesat for this critical element of Telesat Lightspeed”, said Leif Ottosson, CEO at Cobham SATCOM. “In combining our extensive heritage in tracking technologies and experience developing antenna systems for multiple non-geostationary satellite systems, we are excited by the opportunity to install our TRACKER terminals across the global Landing Station network, and to help enable Telesat’s next-generation services for commercial, defense, and government customers worldwide.”

Telesat became a publicly-listed company in November 2021, partly in an effort to secure funding in order to complete the new constellation.

Cobham SATCOM built the landing station for testing the Telesat Phase 1 prototype that was launched in January 2018.

Telesat said its telecom, enterprise, maritime, and aviation customer terminals will connect to the Telesat Lightspeed satellites that carry the user traffic through the mesh space network to Cobham landing stations deployed around the world. The Landing Stations will connect user traffic to Points-of-Presences for telecom networks, Internet, and cloud services, and will support private interconnection for customer networks.

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