Inmarsat



Inmarsat is a British satellite operator offering global mobile satellite communication services. It provides telephone and data services with worldwide coverage via portable and mobile terminals using various ground stations through 11 geostationary satellites. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) set up Inmarsat in 1979.

Inmarsat's satellite network provides communications services to governments, aid agencies, media organizations and businesses with a need to communicate in remote regions or where there is no reliable terrestrial network. The company is headquartered in London, UK and listed on the London Stock Exchange.



History

The company originates from the International Maritime Satellite Organization (INMARSAT), a non-profit intergovernmental organization established in 1979 and requested by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The IMO was the UN maritime body and pursuant to the Convention on the International Maritime Satellite Organization, signed by 28 countries in 1976. The organization was created to establish and operate a satellite communications network for the maritime community. In coordination with the International Civil Aviation Organization in the 1980’s, the convention governing INMARSAT was amended to include improvements to aeronautical communications, notably for public safety. The member states owned varying shares of the operational business.



Privatization

In the 90’s, many member states were unwilling to invest in improvements to Inmarsat's network, especially owing to the competitive nature of the satellite communications industry, while many recognized the need to maintain the organization's older systems and the need for an intergovernmental organization to oversee public safety aspects of satellite communication networks. In 1998 an agreement was reached to modify INMASAT's mission as an intergovernmental organization and separate and privatize the organization's operational business, with public safety obligations attached to the sale.


In April 1999, Inmarsat succeeded by the International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO) as an intergovernmental regulatory body for satellite communications, while Inmarsat's operational unit was separated and became the UK-based company Inmarsat Ltd. The IMSO and Inmarsat Ltd. signed an agreement imposing public safety obligations on the new company. Inmarsat was the first international satellite organization that was privatized.


In 2005 Apax Partners and Permira bought shares in the company. The company was also first listed on the London Stock Exchange in the same year. In March 2008 it was disclosed that U.S. hedge fund Harbinger Capital owned 28% of the company. In 2009, Inmarsat completed the acquisition of satellite communications provider Stratos Global Corporation (Stratos) and acquired a 19% stake in SkyWave Mobile Communications Inc., a provider of Inmarsat D+/IsatM2M network services that in turn purchased the GlobalWave business from TransCore. Inmarsat won the 2010 MacRobert Award for its Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) service.


Operations & satellite coverage

Inmarsat provides also a global maritime distress and safety service (GMDSS) to ships and aircraft at no charge.

Services include traditional voice calls, low-level data tracking systems, and high-speed Internet and other data services as well as distress and safety services. The most recent of these provides GPRS-type services at up to 492 kbit/s via the Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) IP satellite modem the size of a notebook computer. Other services provide mobile Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) services used by the media for live reporting on world events via videophone.

The first (F1) and second (F2) of Inmarsat's series of satellites, known as the "I4" satellites, were launched in June and November 2005. The third and final satellite (F3) was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on the August 18th, 2008.



Upcoming projects


Global Xpress

In August 2010 Inmarsat awarded Boeing a contract to build a constellation of three Inmarsat-5 satellites, as part of a 1.2 billion USD worldwide wireless broadband network called Inmarsat Global Xpress. The three Inmarsat-5 (I-5) satellites will be based on Boeing's 702HP spacecraft platform. The first (Inmarsat-5F1) was launched on December 8th, 2013. The second Inmarsat-5 satellite was launched in February 2015 and the third in August 2015.

The satellites will operate at Ka-band (20–30 GHz). Each Inmarsat-5 will carry a payload of 89 small Ka-band beams which combined will offer global Ka-band spot coverage. In addition each satellite will carry six fully steerable beams that can be pointed at commercial or government traffic hotspots. According to Inmarsat, Global Xpress will deliver download speeds in excess of 60Mbit/s to a 60 cm dish.

Inmarsat has announced plans to offer high-speed in-flight broadband internet on airplanes using a system that integrates the use of Global Xpress and S-band service by using two antennas, the GX antenna on top of the plane for satellite backhaul over Ka-band frequencies and a S-band antenna underneath for backhaul from ground stations.

In February 2011 Inmarsat announced that iDirect had been awarded the contract to provide both the ground segment and the 'core module' that provides the key electronics in the new Global Xpress (GX) maritime terminals.


Inmarsat's foray into S-band, mobile services

On 30 June 2008, the European Parliament and the Council adopted the European’s Decision to establish a single selection and authorization process (ESAP – European S-band Application Process) to ensure a coordinated introduction of mobile satellite services (MSS) in Europe. The selection process was launched in August 2008 and attracted four applications by prospective operators (ICO, Inmarsat, Solaris Mobile (now EchoStar Mobile) and TerreStar).

In May 2009, the European Commission selected two operators, Inmarsat Ventures and Solaris Mobile, giving these operators “the right to use the specific radio frequencies identified in the Commission's decision and the right to operate their respective mobile satellite systems". EU Member States now have to ensure that the two operators have the right to use the specific radio frequencies identified in the Commission's decision and the right to operate their respective mobile satellite systems for 18 years from the selection decision. The operators are compelled to start operations within 24 months from the selection decision.


EuropaSat

Inmarsat's S-band satellite program, called EuropaSat, will provide mobile broadcast and 2-way telecommunications services and next-generation MSS services across all 27 member states. It is being built by Thales Alenia Space since its strong in-house experience and long heritage in S-band. The satellite is scheduled for launch in 2016. The agreement was signed in August 2008 and has been put on hold in late 2009. Inmarsat instead plans to seek external investors to fund the project, and ultimately to spin it off as a separate company. In 2014, the project was revived as a joint project with ArabSat, which will be named EuropaSat / HellasSat-3.




AlphaSat for extended L-band services

The AlphaSat I-XL satellite, built by EADS Astrium, was launched on 25 July 2013, AlphaSat I-XL by an Ariane 5ECA rocket from the Kourou launch base in French Guyana. The new-generation AlphaSat I-XL will be positioned at 25° E to offer advanced mobile voice and data communications services across Europe, Africa and the Middle East using L-Band. It features a new generation digital signal processor for the payload, an 11m aperture AstroMesh antenna reflector, supplied by Astro Aerospace in Carpenteria, CA.

In addition, AlphaSat will host four ESA-provided technology demonstration payloads: an advanced star tracker using active pixel technology, an optical laser terminal for geostationary to low-Earth orbit communication at high data rates, a dedicated payload for the characterization of transmission performance in the Q-V band in preparation for possible commercial exploitation of these frequencies and a radiation sensor to better characterize the environment at geostationary orbit.




References:

www.inmarsat.com
www.wikipedia.com
www.satbeams.com
www.spacevids.tv
www.space.skyrocket.de




Satellites

Inmarsat-2F1 (I2F1)

Oribital Position: 142° W (inclined)
Manufacturer: Matra Marconi (EADS Astrium - Airbus Defense & Space)
Launch date: 30 Oct 1990
Launch Operator: Boeing Defense, Space & Security (ULA)
Launch vehicle: Delta 6925
Expected life time: 10 years

Note: Decommissioned on 19 April 2013.

Inmarsat-2F2 (I2F2)

Oribital Position: 98° W (inclined)
Manufacturer: Matra Marconi (EADS Astrium - Airbus Defense & Space)
Launch date: 08 Mar 1991
Launch Operator: Boeing Defense, Space & Security (ULA)
Launch vehicle: Delta 6925
Expected life time: 10 years

Note: Decommissioned in Dec 2014.

Inmarsat-2F3 (I2F3)

Oribital Position: 149° W (inclined)
Manufacturer: Matra Marconi (EADS Astrium - Airbus Defense & Space)
Launch date: 16 Dec 1991
Launch Operator: Arianespace S.A.
Launch vehicle: Ariane 44L
Expected life time: 10 years

Note: Decommissioned in 2006.

Inmarsat-2F4 (I2F4)

Oribital Position: 109° E (inclined)
Manufacturer: Matra Marconi (EADS Astrium - Airbus Defense & Space)
Launch date: 15 Apr 1992
Launch Operator: Arianespace S.A.
Launch vehicle: Ariane 44LP
Expected life time: 10 years

Note: Decommissioned in 2012.

Inmarsat-3F1 (I3F1, IOR)

Oribital Position: 64° E
Manufacturer: Lockheed Martin Space Systems
Launch date: 02 Apr 1996
Launch Operator: Lockheed Martin (United Launch Alliance - ULA)
Launch vehicle: Atlas 2A
Expected life time: 13 years

Note: As Inmarsat was founded as a maritime communications operator their Inmarsat I2 and –I3 constellation of satellites were positioned above the world’s sea-lanes to form four ocean regions. Inmarsat-3F1 covers the Indian Ocean Region.
 

Inmarsat-3F2 (I3F2, AOR-E)

Oribital Position: 15° W
Manufacturer: Lockheed Martin Space Systems
Launch date: 06 Sept 1996
Launch Operator: International Launch Services (ILS)
Launch vehicle: Proton M
Expected life time: 13 years

Note: As Inmarsat was founded as a maritime communications operator their Inmarsat I2 and –I3 constellation of satellites were positioned above the world’s sea-lanes to form four ocean regions. Inmarsat-3F2 covers the Atlantic Ocean Region-East.
 

Inmarsat-3F3 (I3F3, POR)

Oribital Position: 178° E
Manufacturer: Lockheed Martin Space Systems
Launch date: 18 Dec 1996
Launch Operator: Boeing Defense, Space & Security (ULA)
Launch vehicle: Delta 2A
Expected life time: 13 years

Note: As Inmarsat was founded as a maritime communications operator their Inmarsat I2 and –I3 constellation of satellites were positioned above the world’s sea-lanes to form four ocean regions. Inmarsat-3F3 covers the Pacific Ocean Region.
 

Inmarsat-3F4 (I3F4, AOR-W)

Oribital Position: 54° W
Manufacturer: Lockheed Martin Space Systems
Launch date: 04 June 1997
Launch Operator: Arianespace S.A.
Launch vehicle: Ariane 44L
Expected life time: 13 years

Note: As Inmarsat was founded as a maritime communications operator their Inmarsat I2 and –I3 constellation of satellites were positioned above the world’s sea-lanes to form four ocean regions. Inmarsat-3F4 covers the Atlantic Ocean Region-West.

Inmarsat-3F5 (I3F5, IND-W)

Oribital Position: 25° W
Manufacturer: Lockheed Martin Space Systems
Launch date: 22 Jan 1998
Launch Operator: Arianespace S.A.
Launch vehicle: Ariane 44LP
Expected life time: 13 years

Note: As Inmarsat was founded as a maritime communications operator their Inmarsat I2 and –I3 constellation of satellites were positioned above the world’s sea-lanes to form four ocean regions. Inmarsat-3F5 covers the Indian Ocean Region-West.
 

Inmarsat-4F1 (I4F1, PAC-W)

Oribital Position: 143° W
Manufacturer: EADS Astrium (Airbus Defense & Space)
Launch date: 11 Mar 2005
Launch Operator: Lockheed Martin (United Launch Alliance - ULA)
Launch vehicle: Atlas V
Expected life time: 13 years

Note: Satellite is member of the Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN). After full deployment on the Inmarsat-4 constellation of satellites, a further three satellite regions were created over the Earth’s major landmasses. Inmarsat-4F1 covers the Asia-Pacific region.
 

Inmarsat-4F2 (I4F2, IND-W)

Oribital Position: 25° E
Manufacturer: EADS Astrium (Airbus Defense & Space)
Launch date: 08 Nov 2005
Launch Operator: Sea Launch A.G.
Launch vehicle: Zenit 3SL
Expected life time: 13 years

Note: Satellite is member of the Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN). After full deployment on the Inmarsat-4 constellation of satellites, a further three satellite regions were created over the Earth’s major landmasses. Inmarsat-4F2 covers the EMEA region.

Inmarsat-4F3 (I4F3, PAC-E)

Oribital Position: 98° W
Manufacturer: EADS Astrium (Airbus Defense & Space)
Launch date: 18 Aug 2008
Launch Operator: International Launch Services (ILS)
Launch vehicle: Proton M
Expected life time: 13 years

Note: Satellite is member of the Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN). After full deployment on the Inmarsat-4 constellation of satellites, a further three satellite regions were created over the Earth’s major landmasses. Inmarsat-4F3 covers the Americas.
 

AlphaSat I-XL (Inmarsat-4AF4, Inmarsat XL)

Oribital Position: 25° E
Manufacturer: Thales Alenia Space
Launch date: 25 July 2013
Launch Operator: Arianespace S.A.
Launch vehicle: Ariane 5ECA
Expected life time: 15 years

Note: Satellite is member of the Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN). AlphaSat I-XL (I4AF4) joined the I-4 fleet as a supplement and brings new capabilities in terms of performance and resource availability (20% more mobile communication channels). The I4AF4 was the largest European satellite ever built (6.6 tonnes).
 

Inmarsat-5F1 (I5-IOR)

Oribital Position: 63° E
Manufacturer: Boeing Commercial Satellite Systems (BCSS)
Launch date: 08 Dec 2013
Launch Operator: International Launch Services (ILS)
Launch vehicle: Proton M
Expected life time: 15 years

Note: Ka-band satellite for global services to support commercial and government customers with faster broadband.
 

Inmarsat-5F2 (I5-AOR)

Oribital Position: 55° W
Manufacturer: Boeing Commercial Satellite Systems (BCSS)
Launch date: 01 Feb 2015
Launch Operator: International Launch Services (ILS)
Launch vehicle: Proton M
Expected life time: 15 years

Note: Ka-band satellite for global services to support commercial and government customers with faster broadband.
 

Inmarsat-5F3 (I5-POR)

Oribital Position: 180° E
Manufacturer: Boeing Commercial Satellite Systems (BCSS)
Launch date: 28 Aug 2015
Launch Operator: International Launch Services (ILS)
Launch vehicle: Proton M
Expected life time: 15 years

Note: Ka-band satellite for global services to support commercial and government customers with faster broadband.
 

Inmarsat-5F4

Oribital Position: -
Manufacturer: Boeing Commercial Satellite Systems (BCSS)
Launch date: 2016
Launch Operator: SpaceX
Launch vehicle: Falcon Heavy
Expected life time: 15 years

Note: Ka-band satellite for global services to support commercial and government customers with faster broadband. The Inmarsat-5F4 satellite was ordered in 2013 and will be allocated as a spare satellite.
 

EuropaSat (HellasSat-3)

Orbital Position: 39° E
Manufacturer: Thales Alenia Space
Launch date: 30 Dec 2016 (estimated)
Launch Operator: International Launch Services (ILS)
Launch vehicle: Proton M
Expected lifetime: 15 years

Note: EuropaSat satellite is a joint venture between Inmarsat and HellasSat in Greece and will replace HellasSat-2. 

Inmarsat-6F1 (I-6F1)

Oribital Position: -
Manufacturer: Airbus Defense & Space
Launch date: 2020 (estimated)
Launch Operator: TBD
Launch vehicle: TBD
Expected life time: 15 years

Inmarsat-6F2 (I-6F2)

Oribital Position: -
Manufacturer: Airbus Defense & Space
Launch date: 2020 (estimated)
Launch Operator: TBD
Launch vehicle: TBD
Expected life time: 15 years