Azercosmos Open Joint Stock Company (Azercosmos OJSCo.) is a satellite operator in Azerbaijan and the only operator in Caucasus region. The company is owned by the Government of Azerbaijan and operates two telecommunications satellites in orbit, Azerspace-1 and Azerspace-2 to provide broadband and broadcast services to customers in Europe, Africa, the Middle-East, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. Azercosmos also operates the Earth Observation satellite Azersky to provide satellite imagery and geoinformation services.
Azercosmos OJSCo. has succeeded in becoming one of the driving forces of the ICT sector both in Azerbaijan and region during the short period since its inception. Its resources allow the company to be well equipped and hence handle emerging technologies along with creating an added value for the population that is living in remote areas and beyond the reach of the terrestrial networks.
Azercosmos OJSCo. holds an ISO 9001: 2008 certificate issued by Bureau Veritas in January 2013.
Azerspace-1/Africasat-1a, located at 46° East, was Azerbaijan’s first satellite in space and provides radio and tv-broadcast services, encrypted communication and high-speed data transmission. The satellite was built by Orbital Sciences Corp. (Orbital ATK – Northrop Grumman) and was orbited by launch operator Arianespace in a dual launch on a Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana on February 7th 2013. Co-passenger was Amazonas-3 spacecraft operated by Spanish satellite operator Hispasat.
Azerspace-1/Africasat-1a is equipped with 36 transponders, 24 in C-band and 12 in Ku-band and covers Europe and a significant part of Asia and Africa.
Azerspace-2 (Intelsat IS-38) satellite, located 45° East, was launched on September 25th 2018 by launch operator Arianespace on an Ariane 5ECA launcher from French Guiana. The satellite, built by Space Systems/Loral (SS/L), is equipped with 35 transponders in Ku-band to to provide broadband and broadcast services to customers in Europe, the Middle-East, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Central and South Asia.
Azercosmos was founded on May 3rd 2010 as a result of the President’s wish to establish a modern aerospace industry in Azerbaijan and launch of country’s telecommunication satellite into orbit. Azercosmos is fully owned by the government of Azerbaijan Republic.
In May 2010, the Ministry of Communication and High Technologies reached an agreement with satellite oparator MEASAT from Malaysia to lease the geostationary position at the 46° East orbital slot, which belongs to the Malaysian government.
As a result of the tenders announced on manufacturing and launch of the first Azerbaijani telecommunication satellite, US-based Orbital Sciences Corporation (Orbital ATK – Northrop Grumman) was chosen to construct the satellite, and launch operator Arianespace was selected to launch it.
The jointly-developed satellite had been designed with two separate payloads, the Azerspace-1 covering Europe and Central Asia to be marketed by Azercosmos and the Africasat-1a covering Africa and the Middle-East to be marketed by MEASAT. The satellite would also replace MEASAT’s Africasat-1 satellite and expand MEASAT’s presence in Africa, the Middle-East, Southern Europe and South- East Asia.
In February 2017 Azercosmos signed a strategic agreement with satellite operator Intelsat for the development, construction and launch of the Azerspace-2 satellite. The creation of Azerspace-2 is carried out with a preferential loan from the Canadian credit and export agency Export Development Canada.
Azerspace-2 was launched on September 25th 2018 by launch operator Arianespace and replaced the aging Intelsat 12 (IS-12) satellite located at the 45° East slot. Azerspace-2 extended Azercosmos’ reach beyond its current 46° East post, where its first satellite, Azerspace-1, is located that was launched in February 2013.
IS-12 was called EuropeStar-1, that belonged to PanAmSat when they bounght the satellite from EuropeStar satellite owner/operator. PanAmSat named the satellite in PAS-12. Intelsat acquired Panamsat in 2007 and renamed EuropeStar-1/PAS-12 in Intelsat 12 (IS-12) in February 2007.
In December 2019 Azercosmos and satellite operator RSCC from Russia agreed to make joint efforts for marketing their satellite communications and broadcasting networks for a variety of economic and public administration sectors in Europe, the Middle-East, Africa as well as in Russia and Azerbaijan. Both companies planned will use Azeecosmos’ Azerspace-1 and Azerspace-2 satellites, as well as RSCC’s Express AM-series satellites, which ensure a stable coverage of the aforesaid regions, including the CIS countries.
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www.teletimesinternational.com edition December 2019
www.satellitetoday.com edition April 17th, 2020
Satellite fleet by Azercosmos
Azerspace-1/Africasat-1a at 46° East