Aerospace and Defense

All-Electric Satellite with 3-D Printed Parts Will Boost Wi-Fi Connectivity in Flights

18 May 2017

The SES-15 all-electric satellite in the factory. Image credit: Boeing The SES-15 all-electric satellite in the factory. Image credit: Boeing

Boeing is touting the use of 3-D printing in its latest all-electric satellite, the SES-15, which was launched this week that will be used by airlines to bring Wi-Fi connectivity over North America, Mexico and Central America.

The 702-model satellite contains more than 50 3-D printed metallic parts as part of the vehicle’s primary structure. It is the fifth Boeing satellite to be deployed that features an all-electric propulsion system.

“With its all-electric propulsion, and inclusion of 3-D printed hardware, SES-15 is a great example of how we can create efficient and cost-effective products rapidly for customers,” says Mark Spiwak, president of Boeing Satellite Systems International. “In fact, SES-15 was designed, built, tested and delivered to the launch site ahead of schedule.”

The satellite will also serve the government, enterprise and maritime sectors.

SES-15 has a hybrid payload, including Ku-band wide beams and Ku-band high throughput satellite (HTS) capability with connectivity to gateways in the Ka-band. The satellite also carries a wide-area augmentation system (WAAS) hosted payload for the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to help with future safety efforts.

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