The objective of this study is to assess the feasibility and commercial viability of a scalable approach using smaller satellites for providing satellite communication to new markets, services and applications. The main objective for this approach is the distribution of investment risk for satellite operators wishing to employ dedicated broadband satellites.
The key issue of the SMM project is the combination of the following elements:
The main benefit of the study has been the result that a scalable approach of smaller broadband optimised satellites is not only technically feasible within a short timeframe but also provides a sound business case. For a changing market like the market for multimedia services the reduction of investment risk is of utmost importance for satellite operators entering this market. This reduction is accomplished through the lower investment cost per satellite as well as the gradual adaptability of the system to the market response.
The baseline SMM system features:
The study has started with an identification of commercial requirements leading to requirements for payload and network architecture. Based on these results the design of satellite platform, payload, network architecture, and launch concept has been developed. Deployment strategies suited for the scalable approach have been elaborated and finally commercial viability analyses and programmatics for further phases were defined.