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First national telecommunications satellite

 

 

The Order of the Head of State “On establishment of space industry in Azerbaijan Republic and placing into  orbit telecommunications satellites”,  as well as approval of the “State Program on creation and development of space industry in Azerbaijan Republic” have created fertile ground for the development of space industry in the country.

 

 Creation of space industry and placing into orbit telecommunications satellites of Azerbaijan, including other multipurpose satellites, first and foremost, are of particular strategic importance in the direction of carrying out work to eliminate the dependence of information exchange from foreign countries and to ensure information security. At the same time it will promote to improve the development of human resources and to enhance the intellectual potential in new economic areas to implement new science intensive projects, which in general, will lead to creation of innovation-oriented economy.

 

 “Azerspace-1”

 

Azerbaijan’s first  telecommunication satellite “Azerspace-1” was launched into orbit  from Kourou, in South America, the Space Center of French Guiana  on February 7, 2013 at local time 18:36  (on February 8, 2013 at 1:36 a.m. Baku time).

 

Made by U.S. Orbital Sciences Corporation and based on STAR-2 platform, Azerspace-1 blasted off aboard French Ariane 5 rocket. Some 35 minutes after the start, the spacecraft separated from the upper- stage rocket.

Satellite Azerspace-1 was manufactured by Orbital Sciences Corporation and was developed on the basis of STAR-2 satellite platform successfully operating on 22 active satellites.

 

Azerspace-1 weighing around 3,200 kg will take its position in the geostationary orbit at 46 degrees East longitude.Azerspace-1 which is equipped with 36 active transponders and weighing around 3,200 kg will be   placed in the geostationary orbit at 46 degrees East longitude, and will  provide high quality broadcasting services to Europe, Africa, Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Middle East. The satellite has an anticipated service life of 15 years. It will provide TV broadcasting and telecommunication services, as well as high-quality and stable communication platforms for government and corporate clients.

 

 

Terrestrial infrastructure

 

In order to manage and operate telecommunications and low-orbit satellites, the main and backup ground control centers built in Baku and Nakhchivan, meeting all modern standards and are fully equipped, were put into operation with the launch of satellite Azerspace-1 on February 8, 2013.

Work on management and operation of the satellite in the terrestrial centers will be carried out by Azerbaijani specialists working at Azercosmos OJSC. The specialists, who have received appropriate training at various local and foreign educational institutions, and regularly participate in training courses, constantly working to increase the level of their technical readiness.

 

 

Expected results

Advantages of “Azerspace-1”

General advantages:  

  • Diversification of economy and development of new industrial areas 
  • Elimination of dependence of data exchange from foreign countries and ensuring information security; 
  • Development of human resources and intellectual potential in new economic sectors, implementation of latest knowledge-intensive projects 
  • Formation of an innovation-oriented economy 
  • Enhancing regional and international prestige of Azerbaijan 
  • Turning Azerbaijan into a regional center for ICT. Providing telecommunication needs of the economy and  development of telecommunications infrastructure 
  • Providing broadcasting and communications services, availability of reliable communication platforms meeting requirements of government and corporate clients 
  • Providing hard-to-reach areas of the country with Internet connection, e-services, education, health and other services 
  • Protection of the country from possible information blockade and strengthening the position of Azerbaijan in the information war 
  • Direction of financial flows for satellite communications services to the economy of Azerbaijan and sale of satellite capacity abroad

Specific advantages:  

  • The value of satellite communications. (Satellite communication is of paramount importance, as the only alternative to the existing infrastructure, including for high-quality and relatively cheap communication the  countries with mountainous terrain, including and Azerbaijan) 
  • Operation of the satellite will give  an impetus to ensure high-speed Internet throughout the country 
  • As a result of the launch of satellite, there may be  reduction in tariffs for telecommunication services due to the reduced costs. 
  • The satellite will promote to ensure more quality digital TV broadcasting, and organization of broadcasting in high definition (HD) format. 
  • Covering even out-settlements, the satellite will be an important infrastructure for the establishment of a modern communication and management system ensuring the relationship between the state and citizens, and better organization of the “electronic government”. 
  • The satellite communication will provide additional support for the organization of distance education and e-health services
  • The satellite will help in eliminating the consequences of natural disasters in the country in complex terrain and efficient management of emergency situations.

Channels broadcasted via satellite

Azercosmos OJSC negotiates continuously with TV channels of several countries of the world to involve them in broadcasting via Azerspace-1 satellite. As of 1 July 2014, approximately 100 TV channels and 20 radio channels are being broadcasted via satellite.

Next satellite projects

Several artificial satellites of our country will be launched in the forthcoming years in order to develop national space industry, and practical activity is being implemented in this direction by Azercosmos OJSC. Thus, intensive negotiations are under way with the world’s specialized companies in this field to produce the first low orbit Earth observation space satellite in order to create and develop space observation geo-information services by the OJSC. Additionally, work is continued on Azerspace-2 project, which is the second telecommunication satellite of Azerbaijan, is underway. Both satellites are expected to be launched in 2016 and 2017 respectively. Proving itself as a successful satellite operator by launching Azerspace-1 satellite into orbit, Azercosmos OJSC plans to enter the space observation services market with the launch of its low-earth orbit satellite.