Payload integration is underway for Arianespace's upcoming heavy-lift Ariane 5 mission, which is scheduled for next week from French Guiana with two commercial telecommunications satellites: MEASAT-3b and Optus 10.
Recent activity at the Spaceport included initial steps in creating the dual-payload "stack," with MEASAT-3b riding in the upper position. This involved installing the relay platform - manufactured by Airbus Defence and Space - atop Ariane 5's SYLDA dispenser system in the launcher's Final Assembly Building.
MEASAT-3b was then encapsulated by Ariane 5's ogive-shaped payload fairing, completing the payload stack's upper portion and readying it for positioning over Optus 10 after this spacecraft is installed atop the launcher.
During the Ariane 5 mission, which is set for the evening of September 11, MEASAT-3b will be released first into geostationary transfer orbit, followed by separation of the SYLDA dispenser - enabling Optus 10's subsequent deployment.
MEASAT-3b is equipped with 48 high-power Ku-band transponders to expand direct-to-home broadcasting and VSAT (very small aperture terminal) services across Malaysia, India, Indonesia and Australia. Operated by MEASAT - a Malaysian-based premium supplier of satellite relay services to international broadcasters, direct-to-home platforms and telecom operators - MEASAT-3b will be co-located at the 91.5 deg. East orbital position along with the MEASAT-3 and MEASAT-3a satellites.
Optus 10, which was built by SSL (Space Systems/Loral) for Australian telecommunications service provider Optus, has been fueled at the Spaceport in the S5 payload preparation facility. This satellite is outfitted with 24 Ku-band transponders to provide direct TV broadcast, internet connectivity, telephone and data transmission services for Australia and New Zealand.
The Ariane 5 mission with MEASAT-3b and Optus 10 is designated Flight VA218 in Arianespace's launcher family numbering system. It will be the fourth launch of the heavy-lift workhorse from French Guiana in 2014.
Follow Arianespace's launch activity at: www.arianespace.com.