Turkey to Build First Indigenous Communication Satellite

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TÜBİTAK will provide 100 percent R&D support to high-budget projects for the development and production of the domestic communication satellite TÜRKSAT 6A.

Having achieved a significant success by launching Turkey's national observation satellites GÖKTÜRK-2 and RASAT into space, TÜBİTAK has now started working on a domestic communication satellite. For this purpose, a call announcement was published on "Development and Production of Domestic Communication Satellite" within the scope of the Public Institutions Research and Development Projects Support Program (1007 Program).

The satellite, called TÜRKSAT 6A, will be completely indigenously designed and all integrations will be carried out in Turkey. TÜRKSAT 6A communication satellite, which is intended to be developed with maximum domestic capabilities, will also serve civil, commercial and military public institutions.

Turnkey Satellite to be Built

Making statements about the domestic communication satellite, Minister of Science, Industry and Technology Nihat Ergün said that a new one will be added to the national satellites with the call opened by TÜBİTAK. Stating that 100 percent R&D support will be given to high-budget projects for this purpose, Minister Ergün noted that public R&D units, universities or private sector organizations can apply to the call. Stating that the communication satellite to be developed will be delivered in orbit, Minister Ergün said: "The original design, platform and on-satellite software of the satellite must be developed domestically within the scope of the project. The organizations that will carry out the project will decide which of the other components will be developed domestically. The components to be developed will be domestic to the maximum extent."

Work for TÜRKSAT 6A to Start in 2014

Stating that the project contract for the TÜRKSAT 6A satellite will be signed in 2014, Minister Ergün said that the satellite design, integration and tests will be carried out according to ECSS, NASA and applicable MIL standards. Explaining that the national communication satellite will be developed with features that will enable it to operate in space for 15 years, Ergün said: "TÜRKSAT 6A satellite will cover a large part of Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Asia in addition to Turkey. Its service life will be 15 years, while its design life will be at least one and a half times its service life. Satellite fuel will be adjusted accordingly. The call calls for the satellite design to be compatible with at least two launch vehicles and to be resistant to space conditions. The delivery of the satellite to TÜRKSAT, the customer organization, will take place after the successful completion of the orbital tests. Until this delivery, works such as design, integration, testing, sending to launch, pre-launch studies, launch, orbital tests will be under the responsibility of the contractor."

Touching upon the technical specifications of the satellite to be developed, Minister Nihat Ergün said that the TÜRKSAT 6A satellite will have 16 active, 4 backup Ku-band and 2 active, 1 backup X-band transmitters. Ergün added that organizations wishing to carry out satellite projects can apply to TÜBİTAK until November 22, 2013.

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