Connecting the Unreachable: Satellite Merah Putih 2 Set to Revolutionize Connectivity

Connecting the Unreachable: Satellite Merah Putih 2 Set to Revolutionize Connectivity
Credit: Telkom

PT Telkom Indonesia (Persero) Tbk (Telkom) and its subsidiary Telkomsat successfully launched the Merah Putih 2 satellite directly from Cape Canaveral, Florida on Tuesday (February 20) at 15:11 local time. This satellite is TelkomGroup's 11th satellite and also the first satellite to utilize High Throughput Satellite (HTS) technology, also known as broadband satellite.

The satellite will be launched on SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and will be positioned at 113 degrees East (113E). The rocket used is a reusable spacecraft, which is capable of controlled landings to avoid being dumped in the ocean after use.

The satellite is based on the Spacebus 4000B2 platform, designed for a 15-year lifetime and manufactured by Thales Alenia Space. Thales Alenia Space is primarily responsible for designing, building, testing and delivering the satellite to the launch site.

The renowned French satellite manufacturer will also play a key role in the launch and early orbit phase (LEOP), during which it will guide the satellite from the launch vehicle to its desired orbital position at 113 degrees East, as well as the in-orbit performance testing (IOT) phase, during which it will evaluate the satellite's performance once in orbit. Thales Alenia Space will also provide comprehensive support for satellite system control from the ground control center, while training the Telkomsat team to operate this broadband satellite throughout its lifetime.

The Merah Putih 2 satellite, with a capacity of up to 32 Gbps, is equipped with active transponders in C-band and Ku-band frequencies covering the entire territory of Indonesia. As a country located near the equator and prone to heavy rainfall, this satellite is expected to be the best option as an HTS or broadband satellite solution in Indonesia. Its advantage lies in the combination of C-band and Ku-band frequencies, with the C-band frequency performing optimally in the face of heavy rainfall.

Lukman Hakim Abd Rauf, President Director of Telkomsat, explained that HTS technology is designed to cover small but densely populated areas of the earth (multi-spot beams), allowing the satellite to generate significant broadcast power in the areas covered by these beams. The broadcasting power of this satellite is proportional to the amount of data it can transmit to these locations.

The Merah Putih 2 satellite is scheduled to enter service in April 2024 and will be used to support Indonesia's digital inclusion efforts by providing satellite-based backhaul services, expand maritime businesses in the Indonesian region, and strengthen data sovereignty by reducing reliance on foreign satellite capacity.

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