MEASAT-3d, the 8th MEASAT satellite has been successfully launched into space on Ariane 5 flight VA257 this morning. The liftoff took place today at 5:50am Malaysian time from Kourou Space Centre in French Guiana. The Ariane 5 rocket also carried India’s GSAT-24 satellite on the same flight.
MEASAT-3d is MEASAT’s fourth satellite to be launched by ArianeSpace since the launch of MEASAT-1 in 1996. The launch also marks the first Ariane 5 flight for 2022 and it is also the 5th final flight for Ariane 5 before the launcher is replaced with Ariane 6.
MEASAT-3d uses a Eurostar 3000 satellite that’s built by Airbus. Being a High-Throughput Satellite (HTS), MEASAT-3d will enable faster satellite broadband service with speeds of up to 100Mbps via Ka-band. With a high capacity of 30Gbps, MEASAT aims to connect 2 million unserved Malaysian communities residing in rural areas that lack access to 4G or fibre connectivity. In addition to C-band, Ku-band and Ka-band, MEASAT-3d will also carry Q and V band payload which is described as a first of its kind in the Asia Pacific region. The two high-frequency bands will be used to study the propagation effects in high rainfall regions to enable the design of MEASAT’s next generation satellites. MEASAT-3d is also carrying an additional L-band navigation hosted payload for the Korea Augmentation Satellite System (KASS) for KTSAT.
Commenting on the successful launch, MEASAT Chief Operating Officer Yau Chyong Lim said “The team at MEASAT are delighted at today’s successful launch and I would like to thank everyone for their hard work. On behalf of MEASAT, I would also like to thank the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission for their continuous support. This successful launch would not have been possible without the collaboration of the personnel at the Ministry and agency. We are committed to driving Malaysia’s national communications vision forward. With MEASAT-3d, we will be better positioned to support the Government’s target to achieve 100% internet access by 2025, by filling the broadband gap in locations without 4G, 5G or fibre coverage.”
Besides broadband, MEASAT-3d will allow Maxis to expand mobile coverage in remote rural areas by using satellite backhaul. It will also expand Astro’s capability of delivering 4K and 8K video content to every home in Malaysia.
In the next few days, the MEASAT-3d satellite will be raised from a geo-transfer orbit into a geostationary orbit at the 91.5°E hotslot together with MEASAT-3a and MEASAT-3b. The satellite will then undergo testing for approximately one month before it is brought into commercial operations.