SES-14 at 47.5° West
|Airbus Defense & Space
The C-band payload of SES-14 replaced NSS-806 and will support SES’s cable neighborhood in Latin America. The Ku-band payload augments the Ku-band capacity on NSS-806 with wide beams and high throughput spot beams covering the Americas and the North Atlantic Region. The Ku-band spot beams will allow SES to support the increasing demand for aeronautical and maritime mobility applications, cellular backhaul, broadband delivery, and VSAT services for enterprise and government segments. The Ku-band wide beams are designed to provide video and data services in Latin America, the Caribbean, and across the North Atlantic.
SES-14 also carries the Global-Scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD) as a hosted payload for NASA. The primary purpose of GOLD is to revolutionize the understanding of the space environment by filling the critical gap in knowledge of Sun-Earth connections. The hosted payload will transmit data of the Sun’s impact on the Earth’s thermosphere and ionosphere from Geostationary (GEO) orbit. Both of these layers of the Earth’s upper atmosphere are very sensitive to space weather events and space climate, with potential societal impacts. Uncertainties in the thermosphere are a primary source of uncertainty for operating satellites in low Earth orbit. Fluctuations in the ionosphere interfere with signals from communications and global positioning satellites.
The satellite was originally contracted to be launched on a Falcon-9 v1.2 rocket, operated by SpaceX. In August 2017, the launch providers for SES-12 and SES-14 were switched, putting SES-14 on an Ariane-5ECA, operated by Arianespace. SES-14 was finally launched on January 26th, 2018 from the Arianespace’ Space Port in Kourou, French Guiana.
The Ariane-5ECA was erroneously launched to an inclination of 20.6° instead of 3° due to a data input error. SES-14/GOLD will take about one month longer to reach geostationary orbit. The consequences on the lifetime of SES-14/GOLD are currently not known.