Yahsat’s Al Yah 3 satellite readies for lift-off
Yahsat, a leading global satellite operator based in the UAE, and Orbital ATK, a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies based in the US, is preparing to launch its Al Yah 3 satellite from its launch site in Kourou, French Guiana. The satellite, the third in Yahsat’s fleet, is scheduled to be launched on an Arianespace rocket on 25 January 2018. With the launch of Al Yah 3, Yahsat’s commercial Ka-band coverage will be extended to an additional 20 markets, reaching 60% of Africa’s population and over 95% of Brazil’s population.
“Al Yah 3 is a significant milestone in realising our vision at Yahsat. To bridge the digital divide and enable a more connected world is core to our strategy. We look forward to the successful launch of Al Yah 3 and thereafter furthering our ambitions via future missions to support more growth for YahClick, and for our other business lines such as commercial in-flight connectivity,” said Marcus Vilaca, Chief Technology Officer at Yahsat.
The manufacture of Al Yah 3, which is the first hybrid electric propulsion GEOStar-3™ satellite to be completed by Orbital ATK, involved a project management team comprising Emirati engineers who have been based at Orbital ATK’s satellite manufacturing facility in Virginia, US. Leveraging the build of Al Yah 3 to develop national talent, Yahsat had enrolled 14 UAE Nationals in engineering apprenticeship programmes, which ran over a six-month period at Orbital ATK’s manufacturing facility. The programmes covered technical disciplines such as satellite payloads, ground networks systems and flight dynamics.