Tuesday, August 14, 2007

SPACEWAY 3 Satellite Features On-Board Routing/Switching for BB Services

Hughes Network Systems' next generation SPACEWAY 3 satellite was successfully launched and placed into geostationary transfer orbit by an Ariane 5 ECA rocket.

The Ka-band SPACEWAY 3 satellite is the world's first commercial satellite featuring an on-board traffic switching and routing capability. This ability to switch and route IP packets on board, enabling single-hop communications between any two satellite terminals and eliminating the need for the traffic to be routed through a central hub earth station.

Hughes said that combined with a 10 Gbps overall capacity, fast packet switching, and dynamic beam forming, its SPACEWAY 3 satellite will usher in a new world of bandwidth-on-demand satellite services with true site-to-site, single-hop networking of high-performance ground terminals.

As a full IP-based system, SPACEWAY supports a large variety of web, data, voice, and video services for both unicast and multicast applications in a standards-compliant fashion. SPACEWAY terminals also implement custom enhancement proxies for application acceleration using TCP and HTTP protocols.

SPACEWAY 3 was built by Boeing and is based on the company's 702 satellite platform.



  • Hughes has built a scalable Network Operations and Control Center (NOCC), installed at its Germantown Maryland headquarters, which anchors control functions for network addressing, registration, network security, admission control and multicasting. The NOCC also provides satellite payload management, capacity planning, terminal management, customer care and network management functions. The SPACEWAY architecture can scale up to two million terminals per satellite and will provide coverage with multiple spot beams across the U.S. including Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico, as well as in selected areas in Canada, Mexico, and major cities in South America.

  • The SPACEWAY 3 satellite will operate in the globally assigned Ka-band spectrum at 95 degrees West Longitude and will support a range of new high-speed communications services for IP data and multimedia applications to North American enterprise, consumer, and government customers.

  • In March 2007, Arianespace was selected to launch the SPACEWAY 3 communications satellite for Hughes from the Guiana Space Center in August 2007. The launch contract was originally awarded to Sea Launch. However, on January 30, 2007, Sea Launch suffered a failed launch of the NSS-8 spacecraft from its Odyssey Platform in the equatorial Pacific. The Odyssey Launch Platform sustained damage from the event.

See also