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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Rufai reassures on NigComSat-1R

Managing Director, Nigerian Communications Satellite (NIGCOMSAT) Limited, Mr. Ahmed T. Rufai, has reassured on the replacement of NigComSat-1, saying that it would meet the demands of Nigeria technologically.

Speaking at the fifth Quarterly Management Review (QMR) session for the NigComSat1R project, in Beijing China recently, Mr. Rufai said the programme leading to the actualization of Nigeria’s replacement satellite was on course.

Rufai who was part of a high powered official delegation to the QMR reassured that the project will be completed ahead of the target date of November 2011.

NigComSat1R spacecraft, he said, is a replacement for the NigComSat 1 designed and manufactured by the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST), a subsidiary of the China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC).

The overall design and manufacture of NigComSat1R, he said, is identical to that of NigComSat1 with necessary adaptations to address the local market needs.

Highlighting that NigComSat1R spacecraft can meet Nigeria’s requirements on communication, broadcast, navigation and broadband access and also provide services for Africa, Europe and Asian Continents.

Newly introduced beam over China is to realize a direct link between Africa and Asia. The spacecraft will be operated on geo-stationary orbit at 42.5`E. It will provide 14-Ku band active channels, 4-C band active channels, 8-Ka band active channels and 2 navigation active channels.

The antenna subsystems of the satellite include 2-Ku band deployable antennas, 2 -ka band fixed antennas, 1-C band navigation antenna, 1-L band navigation antenna.

The satellite design life is 15 years and will be launched at Xichang satellite centre by a launch March 3B vehicle in November 2011. Great attentions were paid by both the Chinese and Nigerian Governments in the manufacturing of the spacecraft.

March 24 2009, the replacement contract was signed in Beijing, China and on May 22 2009 the kick off meeting was accomplished in China where the design for spacecraft and ground segment were defined.

The first Quarterly Management Review was held in China September, and secondly on October 12, 2009 the central cylinder static test was carried out in China and was certified normal.

In March 2010, the Critical Design Review was held in China and during the meeting the Nigerian delegation visited CAST to check the onsite assembly of the satellite; after the third QMR.

On June 17 2010 the structure and thermal assembly was finished and by June 18 2010 the space craft was shipped to the Assembly Integration and Test (AIT) centre of CAST.

The Triple model separation was accomplished in June after the propellant tanks were integrated successfully.

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