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TerreStar Completes In-Orbit Tests

TerreStar announced it has completed in-orbit testing for TerreStar-1, which it claims is "the world's largest, most advanced commercial communications satellite."

One of the unique features of TerreStar-1 is a large 18 meter 2-GHz S-band reflector that allows it to communicate from its location 23,000 miles above the Earth with mobile devices the size of a typical smart phone on the planet's surface.

"The completion of in-orbit testing has verified several new technologies developed by Space Systems/Loral and our key suppliers," said John Celli, president and COO of Space Systems/Loral. "We are pleased to report that all of the new developments meet or exceed performance expectations. In particular, the S-band antenna, which includes an 18-meter reflector developed by Harris Corporation and a complex feed array developed by SS/L, has been verified by measurements of the antenna patterns on the ground. The reflector mesh is correctly aligned to the feed and the surface shape is accurate."

Next to be tested is the Ground Based Beam Forming (GBBF) system. GBBF is capable of generating more than 500 simultaneous spot beams.

"Once the integration with the advanced GBBF system and the all-IP core network is complete, TerreStar, with its channel partners, will be ready to offer substantial benefits to wireless users in Canada through its ubiquitous North American mobile network," said Steve Nichols, EVP of TerreStar Canada.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.