Vanguard Space Technologies (San Diego, Calif., USA) announced on Dec. 10 that it supplied critical components to Orbital Sciences Corp. (Dulles, Va., USA) for the SES-8 telecommunications satellite that was recently launched aboard a Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX, Hawthorne, Calif., USA) Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Fla., USA. Vanguard supplied all of the composite reflector components for the SES-8 spacecraft, which was designed, manufactured and tested by Orbital.
The SES-8 spacecraft is based on Orbital’s enhanced GEOStar 2.4 platform, which carries a hybrid Ku- and Ka-band payload with 24 active Ku-band transponders of 36 or 54 Mhz capacity, switchable among 33 channels and two beams. The spacecraft features two 2.5m by 2.7m (8.2-ft by 8.9-ft) super elliptical deployable reflectors and a 1.45m/4.8-ft fixed, nadir antenna. All three of the spacecraft’s composite reflectors were engineered, produced and tested by Vanguard. They were produced using advanced composite materials and the structural components were assembled in Vanguard’s San Diego facility. In addition to the design, analysis and fabrication of the reflectors, Vanguard also performed sine vibration, acoustic and thermal distortion testing.
“We are very proud to be on Orbital’s team for this very important SES mission. The composite reflectors produced by Vanguard showcases our capabilities to produce very tight tolerance, highly accurate and lightweight components in our world-class composite manufacturing facility,” says Frank Belknap, CEO of Vanguard. “We have a long heritage of producing high-precision reflectors for space-based missions and have been a key supplier to Orbital for many of their successful satellite missions.”