Edinburgh, 23 December 2021. – The world’s largest, dual-band, commercial communications satellite launched yesterday from the JAXA Tanegashima Space Centre onboard Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 45, Inmarsat said.
I-6 F1, the first of two Inmarsat-6 satellites, aims to enhance connectivity services for mobility, government and IoT customers. A further six satellites will be deployed by 2024 and a ground network expansion is also expected, the company said.
The I-6 series are Inmarsat’s first hybrid satellites equipped with L-band (ELERA) and Ka-band (Global Xpress) payloads. The spacecraft are backward-compatible with existing terminals and have unlimited beam routing flexibility to match demand.
The faster, more reliable connection will benefit maritime and aviation safety services, disaster response and medical deliveries. The low-cost-terminal-service will enable industrial and agricultural IoT, connecting billions of devices and machines. Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance missions will also profit from the service.
The I-6 satellites also play a key role in the Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) element of Inmarsat´s Orchestra constellation. The Orchestra network will combine GEO, LEO, HEO (highly elliptical orbit) and 5G to redefine global mobile connectivity.