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Heinrich Hertz Satellite Completes First Communications Experiment

Heinrich Hertz Communications Satellite
The Heinrich Hertz Communications Satellite. Credit: DLR

Ibadan, 29 March 2024. – The Heinrich Hertz communications satellite has successfully commenced scientific operations as it was recently used to test the functionality and capacity of the ILKA mobile satellite communication system. The satellite launched on 6 July 2023 at 00:00 CEST to a geostationary orbit at 0.5 degrees East.

ILKA is a portable KU-band antenna for use in extreme situations such as natural disasters, on expeditions or for special operations by the police, intelligence services and the military. In a field test, the antenna, which was on the roof of a building, established contact with the Heinrich Hertz satellite. During the test, the operators were able to successfully send signals to and receive from the satellite to test the performance of the newly-developed ground antenna.

The tests are the first in a series of experiments with Heinrich Hertz over the coming months and years. The German Space Agency at the DLR in Bonn was responsible for the implementation. Furthermore, OHB Digital Connect provided support by configuring the satellite payload and monitoring the transmitted and received signals, among other things.

The Heinrich Hertz mission marks the first launch of a dedicated German communications satellite for researching and testing new technologies and communications scenarios. The mission will thus make an important contribution to Germany’s information society. The Heinrich Hertz mission is being led by the German Space Agency at the German Aerospace Center in Bonn on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Klimaschutz, BMWK). Furthermore, the mission enjoys the participation of the Federal Ministry of Defence (Bundesministerium der Verteidigung, BMVg).

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