TerreStar Prepares to Launch World's Largest Commercial Satellite

TerreStar Networks says its TerreStar-1 satellite—which arrived at its Kourou, French Guiana launch site this week—will be the largest commercial satellite ever launched. An Ariane 5 heavy lift vehicle is scheduled to launch the satellite June 24.

Jeffrey Epstein, President of TerreStar Networks, said, "The arrival of TerreStar-1 signals the start of final launch preparations. Once launched, TerreStar-1 will allow us to deliver on the vision of an integrated satellite and terrestrial mobile service that enables next generation applications anytime, anywhere."

Dennis Matheson, TerreStar Networks Chief Technology Officer, commented, "The design, manufacture and delivery of TerreStar-1 has been a team effort. We have relied on our colleagues at Space Systems/Loral for their experience and support in delivering the integrated satellite and ground system that makes our new services possible. We now look forward to a flawless launch by our partner Arianespace."

John Celli, President and COO at Space Systems/Loral noted the satellite has an 18-meter reflector with an "extraordinarily powerful S-band feed array."

The TerreStar satellite is based on SS/L's 1300 platform and will be capable of operating over 500 spot beams covering the Continental U.S., Canada, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. TerreStar-1 will provide service using 2 GHz spectrum, including spectrum reallocated from the broadcast auxiliary service.

Doug Lung

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. As vice president of Broadcast Technology for NBCUniversal Local, H. Douglas Lung leads NBC and Telemundo-owned stations’ RF and transmission affairs, including microwave, radars, satellite uplinks, and FCC technical filings. Beginning his career in 1976 at KSCI in Los Angeles, Lung has nearly 50 years of experience in broadcast television engineering. Beginning in 1985, he led the engineering department for what was to become the Telemundo network and station group, assisting in the design, construction and installation of the company’s broadcast and cable facilities. Other projects include work on the launch of Hawaii’s first UHF TV station, the rollout and testing of the ATSC mobile-handheld standard, and software development related to the incentive auction TV spectrum repack.
A longtime columnist for TV Technology, Doug is also a regular contributor to IEEE Broadcast Technology. He is the recipient of the 2023 NAB Television Engineering Award. He also received a Tech Leadership Award from TV Tech publisher Future plc in 2021 and is a member of the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society and the Society of Broadcast Engineers.