Seven must-know facts about Bangabandhu satellite

10 May 2018, 15:11 | updated: 10 May 2018, 15:19

NTV Online

Bangladesh is set to step into space on Friday as it will launch its first communication satellite ‘Bangabandhu-I’ (BS-I) into the orbit. Let us know about some important information about the satellite.


Satellite type

There are over two thousand satellite owned by more than 50 countries are available in the space. Some types of satellites are — weather satellite, Earth-observation satellite, navigation satellite and so on. However, BS-I is communication and transmission satellite.


Functions of BS-I

The primary function of BS-I will be to provide satellite services to television channels of the country. Bangabandhu-I will offer video services for Direct-to-Home (DTH), e- learning, Tele-medicine, Family Planning, Farming etc while voice service to cellular backhaul and disaster recovery, etc and data service for internet, SCADA, SOHO as well as business-to-business (VSAT) etc.

Besides, internet connectivity could be ensured in the areas detached from optical cable or submarine cable connectivity.  


BS-I Footprint

Manufactured by the Thales Alenia Space of France, Bangladesh will operate satellite from 119.1 degree East using a payload comprising 14 C-Band and 26 Ku-Band transponders to deliver focused telecommunications coverage to Bangladesh. One transponder is equivalent to 36 MHz. Ku-band will cover Bangladesh and its territorial area of the Bay of Bengal, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and the Philippines.

On the other hand, C-band will cover Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Myanmar, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and portions of Kazakhstan.


Life span

The satellite has 15 years for mission life span while another 3 years for its design.



Satellite manufacturer

Manufactured by the Thales Alenia Space of France, Bangabandhu-I will be launched at 4:00pm local time (BST 2:00am Friday) from the Cape Canaveral launching pad in Florida by Falcon 9 rocket of American firm SpaceX.  

SpaceX had previously planned to launch the satellite using Falcon-9 rockets on December 16, 2017, but the launch was postponed due to damage from Hurricane Irma.


BS-I budget

Bangabandhu-I project was endorsed by the government in May 2015, and it assigned the Thales Alenia by signing a US$ 248-million deal in November same year.

Recognizing the importance of the satellite launching preparatory activities,  BTRC formulated a project with the title “Preparatory functions and Supervision in Launching a Communication and Broadcasting Satellite”-which was then approved by the government on 26 January, 2012 with an estimated project cost of Taka 8,681.51 lakh and with an implementation tenure from 01 July, 2011 to 30 June, 2015. 

As the allotment process of orbital position and relevant frequencies from ITU is very complex and Bangladesh had no previous experience in satellite launching activities, the need of expert consultant to assist in the primary activities was highly felt, and a USA based consultancy firm Space Partnership International (SPI), was appointed under the project on 29 March, 2012 following proper rules and regulation.

Thales Alenia completed the manufacturing works of Bangabandhu-I few months ago and kept it in a warehouse in Cannes of France. On March 29, the satellite was shitted to Florida.


Satellite operation

Falcon 9 rocket of SpaceX will lift the 3.5-metric tonne Bangabandhu-I communications satellite from the Cape Canaveral launching pad and it will take eight days to reach its orbital slot.

The satellite will be controlled by two ground stations, which will be used for primary and back-up site operations and control centres. The survey for site selection for the construction of the ground control stations has been completed.

Thales Alenia Space will provide tools for the ground segment for the mission planning and space operations monitoring. It will also build two ground facility buildings, which will house satellite control and network operations centre.

Spectra Engineers was contracted to execute civil works of the ground facilities. Thales Alenia Space will look after the satellite for the first three years including local officials after it’s launched.

Two ground stations for controlling the satellite have already been built at Joydebpur of Gazipur and Rangamati’s Betbunia.