If you were to step inside the Boeing Satellite Systems International (Boeing) Factory in California, you would see that Kacific1 has doubled in size from a month ago. The payload and bus modules are now successfully tested and integrated, and the spacecraft is proceeding along in single-line flow.
Solar arrays, which will convert the sun’s rays into electricity to provide power to the satellite, and its antenna reflectors which focus the electromagnetic waves into the high-power spot beams, are being installed
The XIPS (Xenon Ion Propulsion System) electric thrusters are also being fitted. Electric propulsion systems are lighter than chemical propulsion systems, and so allowed Kacific to place more communications hardware on board.
Boeing will soon begin vibration and acoustic tests to simulate the harsh launch environment. These tests will be followed by spacecraft thermal vacuum tests (SCTV). SCTV tests simulate the space environment to ensure that the spacecraft will remain healthy for its 15-year design life. Other activities underway include launch, mission and in-orbit test planning.
For Kacific1 to provide connectivity to many small VSAT terminals across Asia Pacific, it needs to connect to a powerful RF ground system. Kratos Defence and Security Solutions is designing, building and commissioning our multi-site gateways, which includes large 9-metre antennas and the high power amplifier equipment needed to transmit to space. Currently the RF gateway hardware is being shipped to the sites for installation.
At each RF gateway is a Kacific hub where connections to the internet are established. These hubs are based on the Newtec Dialog® multiservice platform and are currently being built in Belgium. They will soon undergo a factory acceptance test (FAT). Each of the hubs will be controlled at the Kacific network operations center (NOC) in Singapore, which is also being developed.
We’re keeping in regular contact with our technology partners to provide exciting updates and successful test results. All systems are firing here at Kacific as we begin the countdown to Kacific1 service commencing.
Image supplied by Boeing