Canada: Telesat to Build, Launch New DTV Satellite

Telesat, the firm that built and launched its first bird (Anik A1) more than 30 years ago, says it plans to build and launch its 18th satellite (Nimiq 4), that will be designed to carry a wide range of HD and other DTV services. Telesat said in a statement the new space project will enable Bell ExpressVu, a customer,
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Telesat, the firm that built and launched its first bird (Anik A1) more than 30 years ago, says it plans to build and launch its 18th satellite (Nimiq 4), that will be designed to carry a wide range of HD and other DTV services.

Telesat said in a statement the new space project will enable Bell ExpressVu, a customer, to enhance its cadre of advanced services such as HD, specialty SD channels, and foreign language programming. (Both ExpressVu and Telesat are owned by BCE, Inc.)

Although EADS Astrium of Europe has been tapped to build the Nimiq 4, Telesat said Canadian industry will provide a "significant portion" of the spacecraft's equipment and technology. Based on the E3000 version of the Eurostar satellite, Telesat told several Canadian publications that Nimiq 4 will be equipped with 32 active high-power transponders in Ku-band, and 8 in Ka-band.

Nimiq 4 will have a launch mass of 4.8 tons, a solar array span of 39 meters (once in orbit), and spacecraft power of 12 kW at end-of-life. The new satellite reportedly will provide commercial services for at least 15 years, operating from 82 degrees west. Its scheduled launch is 2008.