Satellite Communications Organisation (often abbreviated as
Arabsat) is a communications satellite operator in the Arab World,
headquartered in the city of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Arabsat was created
to deliver satellite-based, public and private telecommunications
services to the Arab States, in accordance with International
Standards. With 21 member countries, the organization plays a vital
role of enhancing communications in the Arab World.
The Arabsat satellites are a series of geostationary communications
satellites launched from 1985 through 2011. Some of the later
satellites in the series remain operational in orbit, while others
have been retired and are derelict.
6 See also
9 External links
The foundation of Arab
Satellite Communications Organisation (Arabsat)
dates from the late 1960s. In 1967, information ministers of Arab
states developed a series of principles in relation to a satellite
network, to create an integration of social and cultural activities
Arab League countries. On the other hand, the Arab States
Broadcasting Union (ASBU) was established in 1969.
Saudi Arabia did
not join this Egypt-led and Cairo-based union until 1974, most
probably due to the tense relationship between
Saudi Arabia and Egypt
at the time.
On 14 April 1976, Arabsat was formed under
Arab League jurisdiction
with the goal of serving the information, cultural and educational
needs of its member states.
Saudi Arabia was the main financier of the
new organization due to its expanded financial resources as a result
of its flourishing oil-exporting industry.
Riyadh housed Arabsat's
The first launch
Arabsat-1A was performed by a French Ariane rocket.
Space Shuttle Discovery
Space Shuttle Discovery launched Arabsat's second
satellite, Arabsat-1B, in 1985.
Arabsat-1A and -1B were switched off
in 1992 and 1993, respectively.
Arab League members and Arabsat shareholders
Arab League states except for
Comoros are shareholders of
Saudi Arabia 36.7%
United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates 4.7%
Palestinian Authority 0.2%
Arabsat-1 was the model designator for a series of first-generation
satellites built by an international team led by
France. It is a satellite with three-axis stabilized Spacebus 100
spacecraft with two deployable solar array wings, making it almost
68 ft (20.7 m) long and over 18 ft (5.5 m) wide when
deployed in orbit. It weighs about 2,800 lb (1,270 kg) in
its initial orbit, but some 1,490 lb (675 kg) of this is
propellant. It has an onboard low-thrust motor that utilizes hydrazine
and nitrogen tetroxide, and transfers from an initial elliptical to
geosynchronous orbit by firing this motor. The remaining propellant is
then used for station-keeping or moving over the life of the
Arabsat-1A, the first Arabsat satellite, was launched by Ariane on 8
February 1985. Shortly after launch it suffered a solar panel
extension malfunction. Coupled with other failures, the satellite was
soon relegated to backup status until it was abandoned completely in
Arabsat-1B, the second flight model, was deployed in June 1985, from
Space Shuttle Discovery
Space Shuttle Discovery on mission STS-51-G, and placed into
service near 26° East, and remained in operation until
Arabsat-1C the third satellite of the series, was launched by Ariane
on 26 February 1992, as a stop-gap measure to maintain network
services until the Arabsat second generation spacecraft became
Arabsat-1D was renamed from the Anik-D2 (a Hughes HS-376 bus
originally carrying 24 active C-band transponders).
By the end of 1994, the Arabsat system had been reduced to only one
operational satellite. A contract for two Arabsat
second-generation satellites was signed with
Aérospatiale in April
1993, to build several additional comsats based on the Spacebus 3000A
Arabsat-2A, was launched on 9 July 1996.
Arabsat-2B, was launched on 13 November 1996.
Arabsat-2C was leased from PAS-5 in May 2002 and moved from the
Western Hemisphere during November 2002 to a position at 26° E.
Arabsat-2D was leased from Hotbird 5 and moved from the position 13°
E during November 2002 to a position at 26° E.
On 7 November 1996, a contract was signed with
provide the first of the third-generation satellites, to be based on a
Spacebus 3000B2 platform.
BADR-3 (technically: Arabsat-3A) was launched as the first satellite
of the third generation, on 26 February 1999. Half of its
transponders were switched off on 7 December 2001 after a solar-panel
Arabsat let a contract on 22 October 2003 for the manufacture and
launch of the fourth generation of Arabsat satellites, based on the
Astrium's Eurostar E2000+ platform and
Alcatel Space payload. The
first of these, Arabsat-4A, was lost in space due to a launcher
failure. This led to the ordering of BADR-6 (technically:
Arabsat-4AR) on 31 May 2006. The second fourth generation satellite,
BADR-4 (technically: Arabsat-4B), was launched on 8 November
2006. BADR-6 was launched on 7 July 2008 on an Ariane 5, to replace
the lost Arabsat-4A.
Arabsat let a contract on 16 June 2007 for the manufacture and launch
of the fifth generation of Arabsat satellites, based on the Astrium's
Eurostar E3000 platform and
Thales Alenia Space
Thales Alenia Space payloads:
The first of the fifth-generation satellites, named BADR-5
(technically: Arabsat-5B), was launched by Proton at Arabsat's 26°
East Direct-to-Home television "Hot Spot" on 3 June 2010.
The second of the fifth-generation satellites, Arabsat-5A, was
launched by Ariane at the 30.5° East orbital location on 26 June
The third of the fifth-generation satellites, Arabsat-5C, was launched
to the new 20° East orbital location on 21 September 2011.
Badr-7 (Arabsat-6B) was launched successfully in tandem with GSat-15
on 10 November 2015 from the Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, atop
Ariane 5 launcher.
The launch of ArabSat 6A with a
Falcon Heavy rocket is planned for
Direct To Home
Direct To Home (DTH) television broadcasting
Broadband & Telephony backbone connectivity
As of August 2016, Arabsat owns six operational satellites, at three
orbital positions: 20° East, 26° East and
Arabsat-5C (20° E)
Badr-4/Arabsat-4B (26° E)
Arabsat-5B (26° E)
Badr-6/Arabsat-4AR (26° E)
Arabsat-6B (26° E)
Arabsat-5A (30.5° E)
Economy of the Arab League
Satellite Telecommunications City
^ "Emir of
Kuwait Adorns Arab Sat Informatics Medal 2009". Retrieved
21 March 2010.
^ a b c Kraidy, Marwan M. (2002). "Arab
Satellite Television Between
Regionalization and Globalization". Global Media Journal. 1 (1).
Retrieved 3 May 2012.
Arab League Member States". ArabSat. Archived from the original on
^ Gunter's Space Page, BADR-3
^ Spaceflight Now Proton Launch Report Proton rocket fails in Arab
^ Nemiroff, R.; Bonnell, J., eds. (22 February 2007). "Mystery Over
Australia". Astronomy Picture of the Day. NASA.
^ Nemiroff, R.; Bonnell, J., eds. (26 February 2007). "A Rocket Debris
Cloud Drifts". Astronomy Picture of the Day. NASA.
^ "Another successful Arianespace launch: ProtoStar I and BADR-6 are
in orbit". Arianespace.
^ Clark, Stephen (April 29, 2015). "Arabsat contracts go to Lockheed
Martin, Arianespace and SpaceX". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved June 29,
^ "The Fleet - Arabsat". Arabsat. Retrieved 2016-08-25.
Arabsat - Arab League