SANSA | Space Operations
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Space Operations

Products & Services

SANSA Space Operations manages and maintains more than 20 antennas and a number of ground stations at Hartebeesthoek. This includes the full-motion TT&C (telemetry, tracking and command) antennas, and five remote sensing systems across all frequency bands (and in S-band for mobile support). In addition to the antennas, Hartebeesthoek also operates the South African Earth observation satellite, SumbandilaSat, and hosts an Orbcomm ground station.

Space Operations Services
  • Applied research development and innovation in key space operations and applications
  • Spacecraft launch life-cycle
  • Emergency support
  • TT&C (telemetry, tracking and command) services
  • TOS (transfer-orbit support) services
  • IOT (in-orbit test) services
  • Hosting services
  • Carrier monitoring services
  • Systems and radio-frequency engineering
  • 24/7 project management and maintenance and antenna
  • Ground station installation (procurement, import, logistics, soil testing, civil, electrical, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning) works, construction, integration, acceptance testing and commissioning).

The activities of the TT&C group at SANSA Space Operations are driven primarily by the needs of international clients in Europe and the USA. The operational efficiencies that these clients require have driven the consistently reliable performance of the Space Operations division at Hartebeesthoek, which has established itself as the most reputable TT&C tracking station on the African continent.

Since 1984, Hartebeesthoek has supported close to 300 spacecraft in low-Earth orbits and high-altitude geostationary orbits. The ground station notched up an unprecedented 20 launch supports during 2010 alone, while maintaining service levels at 100%.

In August 2011, the ingenuity of the TT&C team was soundly tested with its first dual-launch support task, which orbited two telecommunications satellites simultaneously. All manoeuvres were performed without fault and once again proved the team’s technical competency to the international space community.

Today, SANSA Space Operations provides services to most major satellite manufacturers, operators and space agencies world-wide. The TT&C capabilities of the staff and facilities at Hartebeesthoek enables the station to support any ground segment requirements, from establishing high-tech ground facilities such as antennas and ground stations, to operation and maintenance of such facilities for international clients.

Antennas

Hartebeesthoek operates around the clock and throughout the year to support satellite launches. The antenna systems are located across 32 secured locations on the 2890 ha site, and are available in L, S, C, Ext C, X, Ku, DBS and Ka frequency bands, as well as S-band for mobile support. Seven of the antennas are full-motion TT&C antennas.

The TT&C group constructed most of the infrastructure of the antennas and ground stations at Hartebeesthoek, albeit with assistance from overseas clients where necessary. In 1997, new 13.2m Ku/DBS-band and 13.2 Ka-band antenna systems were installed in a record time of nine months, which included all the civil, mechanical, electrical and electronic systems to track the launch of Bonum 1, for which the TT&C staff received on-the-job training. In 2008, the X-band capabilities dedicated to Earth observation data reception at Hartebeesthoek were upgraded with the installation of a new 7 m X-band antenna.

The antennas at Hartebeesthoek can detect satellite sensors that cover an area over the southern African continent from 3° to 50° south (as far north as Bujumbura in Burundi). They generate a wide variety of data and can transmit these as images that range from a low to a very high resolution.

Hartebeesthoek antennas consist of the following systems:

HBK-2

HBK-2: S-and Ext C-band antenna

HBK-2 Slew rate: 10°/sec
Dish diameter: 12m
Tracking mode: Program and Autotrack
Polarisation: LCP and RCP

Transmit 1
Frequency range: 6.8 – 7.2 GHz
EIRP: 88dBW Receive
Frequency range: 2.2 – 2.4 GHz
G/T: 22.4 dB/°K
Acquisition Aid ant: 1.07m 2.2 – 2.3 GHz only

Transmit 2
Frequency range: 2.025 – 2.15 GHz
EIRP: 69dBW

HBK-5

HBK-5: S, X-band antenna

HBK-5 Slew rate: 10°/sec
Dish diameter: 10m
Tracking mode: Program and Autotrack
Polarisation: LCP and RCP Receive
Frequency range:
Rx1: 2.2 – 2.4 GHz [G/T: 22.4 dB/°K]
Rx2: 8.0 – 8.5 GHz [G/T: 31.0 dB/°K]

Transmit
Frequency range: 2.025 – 2.10 GHz
EIRP: 65dBW

HBK-7

HBK-7: Ku/DBS-band antenna

HBK-7 Slew rate: 2°/sec
Dish diameter: 13.2m
Tracking mode: Program and Autotrack
Polarisation: Circular and Linear

Receive
Frequency range: 10.95 – 12.75 GHz
G/T: 38.25 dB/°K (@12.75 GHz) Transmit
Frequency range:
Tx1: 12.75 – 14.5 GHz
Tx2: 17.3 – 18.1 GHz

EIRP:
91dBW (@12.75 GHz)
92.6dBW (@17.5 GHz)

HBK-8

HBK-8: Ka-band antenna

HBK-8 Slew rate: 2°/sec
Dish diameter: 13.2m
Tracking mode: Program and Autotrack
Polarisation: LCP and RCP

Transmit 1
Frequency range: 29.5 – 30.0 GHz
EIRP: 92dBW Receive
Frequency range: 17.7 – 21.2 GHz
G/T: 41.8 dB/°K

Transmit 2
Frequency range: 27.5 – 31.0 GHz
EIRP: 87dBW

MO-1

MO-1: S-band mobile antenna

MO-1 Slew rate: 20°/sec
Dish diameter: 15ft
Tracking mode: Program and Autotrack
Polarisation: LCP and RCP

Receive
Frequency range: Rx1: 2.2 – 2.4 GHz
G/T: Rx1: 11.6 dB/°K

HBK-9

HBK-9: X-band antenna

HBK-9 Slew rate: 3°/sec
Dish diameter: 5.4m
Tracking mode: Program and Autotrack
Polarisation: RCP

Receive
Frequency range: 8.0 – 8.5 GHz
G/T: 30.5 dB/°K

HBK-10

HBK-10: C-band (designated Pre-15T by Intelsat) antenna

HBK-10 Slew rate: 5°/sec Amzimuth, 1.4°/sec Elevation
Dish diameter: 11m
Tracking mode: Program and Autotrack
Polarisation: Circular

Receive
Frequency range: 3.625 – 4.2 GHz
G/T: 31.7 dB/°K

HBK-16

HBK-16: X-band antenna

HBK-16 Slew rate: 3°/sec
Dish diameter: 7.3m
Tracking mode: Program and Autotrack
Polarisation: LCP and RCP

Receive
Frequency range: 8.0 – 8.5 GHz

HBK-17

HBK-17: Ku-band antenna

Dish diameter: 9m
Tracking mode: Program and Autotrack
Polarisation: Linear and Circular

Receive
Frequency range: 10.95 – 12.75 GHz
G/T: 35 dB/°K

HBK-2

HBK-2: S-and Ext C-band antenna

HBK-2 Slew rate: 10°/sec
Dish diameter: 12m
Tracking mode: Program and Autotrack
Polarisation: LCP and RCP

Transmit 1
Frequency range: 6.8 – 7.2 GHz
EIRP: 88dBW Receive
Frequency range: 2.2 – 2.4 GHz
G/T: 22.4 dB/°K
Acquisition Aid ant: 1.07m 2.2 – 2.3 GHz only

Transmit 2
Frequency range: 2.025 – 2.15 GHz
EIRP: 69dBW

HBK-5

HBK-5: S, X-band antenna

HBK-5 Slew rate: 10°/sec
Dish diameter: 10m
Tracking mode: Program and Autotrack
Polarisation: LCP and RCP Receive
Frequency range:
Rx1: 2.2 – 2.4 GHz [G/T: 22.4 dB/°K]
Rx2: 8.0 – 8.5 GHz [G/T: 31.0 dB/°K]

Transmit
Frequency range: 2.025 – 2.10 GHz
EIRP: 65dBW

HBK-7

HBK-7: Ku/DBS-band antenna

HBK-7 Slew rate: 2°/sec
Dish diameter: 13.2m
Tracking mode: Program and Autotrack
Polarisation: Circular and Linear

Receive
Frequency range: 10.95 – 12.75 GHz
G/T: 38.25 dB/°K (@12.75 GHz) Transmit
Frequency range:
Tx1: 12.75 – 14.5 GHz
Tx2: 17.3 – 18.1 GHz

EIRP:
91dBW (@12.75 GHz)
92.6dBW (@17.5 GHz)

HBK-8

HBK-8: Ka-band antenna

HBK-8 Slew rate: 2°/sec
Dish diameter: 13.2m
Tracking mode: Program and Autotrack
Polarisation: LCP and RCP

Transmit 1
Frequency range: 29.5 – 30.0 GHz
EIRP: 92dBW Receive
Frequency range: 17.7 – 21.2 GHz
G/T: 41.8 dB/°K

Transmit 2
Frequency range: 27.5 – 31.0 GHz
EIRP: 87dBW

MO-1

MO-1: S-band mobile antenna

MO-1 Slew rate: 20°/sec
Dish diameter: 15ft
Tracking mode: Program and Autotrack
Polarisation: LCP and RCP

Receive
Frequency range: Rx1: 2.2 – 2.4 GHz
G/T: Rx1: 11.6 dB/°K

HBK-17

HBK-17: Ku-band antenna

Dish diameter: 9m
Tracking mode: Program and Autotrack
Polarisation: Linear and Circular

Receive
Frequency range: 10.95 – 12.75 GHz
G/T: 35 dB/°K

HBK-16

HBK-16: X-band antenna

HBK-16 Slew rate: 3°/sec
Dish diameter: 7.3m
Tracking mode: Program and Autotrack
Polarisation: LCP and RCP

Receive
Frequency range: 8.0 – 8.5 GHz

HBK-10

HBK-10: C-band (designated Pre-15T by Intelsat) antenna

HBK-10 Slew rate: 5°/sec Amzimuth, 1.4°/sec Elevation
Dish diameter: 11m
Tracking mode: Program and Autotrack
Polarisation: Circular

Receive
Frequency range: 3.625 – 4.2 GHz
G/T: 31.7 dB/°K

HBK-9

HBK-9: X-band antenna

HBK-9 Slew rate: 3°/sec
Dish diameter: 5.4m
Tracking mode: Program and Autotrack
Polarisation: RCP

Receive
Frequency range: 8.0 – 8.5 GHz
G/T: 30.5 dB/°K

For more information about Space Operations products and services, contact spaceops-info@sansa.org.za
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