Argentina has started to design, build and operate its own three geostationary satellites —ARSAT-1, ARSAT-2, ARSAT-3—, which comprise the Argentine Geostationary Telecommunications Satellite System (SSGAT, in Spanish). This program includes the design and manufacture of three satellites of its own, their sending into orbit and operation, with the aim of increasing the telecommunications capacity of the country and guaranteeing the same level of connectivity quality to all its regions.
Thus, the national government transfered to the company ARSAT, the assets of the company Nahuelsat S.A. that managed the geostationary orbital position 72° West by means of NAHUEL-1 satellite. This orbital position was occupied by the satellite until early 2010, when its lifetime expired. The ARSAT-1, ARSAT-2 and ARSAT-3 satellites —made in Argentina— will be put into orbits 81° and 72° West, allocated to our country by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) dependent on the United Nations.
INVAP S.E. (Argentine state-owned applied research company), being the main contractor of ARSAT, is responsible of managing these projects and providing the engineering service thoroughly —including the stages of design, manufacture, assemblage and functional and environmental tests.
The aim of the ARSAT-1, which required more than 1,300,000 working hours undertaken by Argentine workers, is to carry radio frequency signals via Ku band for telecommunications, providing Direct to Home TV, Internet access to be received by VSAT antennas as well as data and IP telephone services for the whole Argentine territory and bordering countries.
The ARSAT-1 was successfully put into orbit on October 16 this year from Kourou, in French Guiana, on board the Ariane 5 rocket, which belongs to the company Arianespace.